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PRIMUS IN INDIS 



21 Komanct 



By M. J. COLQUHOUN 



NEW YORK 
HAEPER 4 BEOTHEES, PUBLISHEE3 



HARPER'S HANDY SERIES. 

Some of tbe most attractive of current literature is finding its way into these 
volume**, which you may bay fur a quarter, hold easily in one baud, and slip into 
your pocket between the readings. — A T . Y. Sun. ' 

This new serial is rapidly winning its way to popularity. Its type is large 
enough to be perfectly legible. The selections are excellent. — *Y. Y. Journal of 
Commerce. 

This Dew series, besides its high literary character, is presented in a particu- 
larly handsome and convenient form. The type is so large as not to tire tbe eye 
of the railroad traveller, and the size is convenient to hold and for the pocket— 
Boston Transcript. 

Volume* of HARPER'S HANDY SERIES already issued. 

NO. CENTS. 

1. That Terrible Man. A Novel. By W. E. Norris 25 

2. Society is London. By A Foreign Resident 25 

3. Mignon ; or, Bootles's Baby. A Novel. By J. S. Winter. Ill'd. 25 
*4. Louisa. A Novel. By K. S. Macquoid. Vol. 1 25 

5. Louisa. A Novel. By K. S. Macquoid. Vol. II 25 

6. Home Letters. By the Late Earl of Beaconsfield. Illustrated. . 25 
1. How to Play Whist. By "Five of Clubs" (R. A. Proctor)... 25 

8. Mr. Butler's Ward. A Novel. By F. Mabel Robinson 25 

9. John Nkedham's Double. A NoveL By Joseph Hatton 25 

10. The Mahdi. By James Darmesteter. With Portraits 25 

11. The World op London. By Count Vasili 25 

12. The Waters of Hercules. A Novel 25 

13. She's All the World to Me. A Novel. By Hall Caine 25 

14. A Hard Knot. A Novel. By Charles Gibbon. 25 

15. Fish and Men in the Maine Islands. By W. H. Bishop. Ill'd. 25 

16. Uncle Jack, and Other Stories. By Walter Besant 25 

17. Mrs. Keith's Crime. A Novel 25 

18. Souvenirs op Some Continents. By Archibald Forbes, LL.D. . 25 

19. Cut by the County. A Novel. By M. E. Braddon 25 

20. No Medium. A Novel. By Annie Thomas (Mrs. Pender Cudlip). 25 

21. Paul Crew's Story. By A. C. Carr 25 

22. Old-World Questions and New- World Answers. By Daniel 

Pidgeon, F.G.S., Assoc. Inst. C.E 25 

23. In Peril and Privation. By James Payn. Illustrated 25 

24. The Flower of Doom, and Other Stories. By M. Betham- 

Edwards 25 

25. The Luck of the Darrells. A Novel. By James Payn 25 

26. Houp-la. A Novelette. By John Strange Winter. Illustrated. 25 

27. Self-Doomed. A Novel. By B. L. Farjeon 25 

28. Malthus and His Work. Bv James Bonar, M.A 25 

29. The Dark House. A Novel. * By G. Manville Fenn 25 

30. The Ghost's Touch, and Other Stones. By Wilkie Collins 25 

81." The Royal Mail. By James Wilson Hyde. Illustrated 25 

82. The Sacred Nugget. A Novel. By B. L. Farjeon 25 

33. Primus in Indis. A Romance. By M. J. Colquhoun 25 

34. Musical History. By G. A. Macfarren 25 

Other volumes in preparation. 

Harper A Brothers will send any of the above works by mail, postage pre- 
paid, to any part of the United States or Canada, on receipt of the price. 



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INTKODUCTIOK 



THE HALL FARM. 



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Ravensthorpe Hall, once a place of great importance in 
Gloucestershire, has been allowed to fall into decay, and is now 
used as a farmhouse. Knowing something of the strange fam- 
ily history of the people who had lived there long ago, I was 
impelled by curiosity to visit the spot. 

Starting from Stow-on-the-Wold, I inquired my way, and 
after a walk of some miles I reached an avenue of ancient ash- 
trees, and I suddenly came upon an old, decaying mansion. 

The house had evidently been of great consequence in its 
day. The part I first approached presented an unmistakably 
uninhabited appearance. The gray stones were moss-grown, 
the mullions of the windows were crumbling in places, shutters 
or dirt-incrusted glass betokened abandonment by the owners, 
grass was growing between the steps of the great arched door- 
way — which evidently opened upon an extensive hall — a fine 
bay window was decorated with coats of arms, and I could ob- 
tain a glimpse through a smaller window of some dark oaken 
panelling. 

In one wing of the house I now perceived signs of habita- 
tion. I had heard that an old farmer and his wife were in- 
stalled in this part of it. An old woman approached me, and 
I asked if I might see the place, to which she very willingly 
consented. 

With some trouble she opened the front door, and I en- 
tered. The entrance hall was finely panelled with black oak, 
and the wide staircase had a balustrade of the same wood, 
most beautifully carved. ., . 

" •' - i ' 



2 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

The old woman informed me that the property now be- 
longed to a minor, and that the estate had been much impov- 
erished by the last owner; also that the state rooms of the 
house had remained uninhabited for many years ; the old fam- 
ily had died out, and the present infant possessor belonged to 
a distant and collateral branch. The guardians of this minor 
were endeavoring to do their best for the property, but the 
antiquity and state of disrepair of the mansion prevented its 
letting ; added to which there was its evil reputation of being 
haunted. Only the servants 1 quarter and kitchen had been 
made available for the present occupants, while the principal 
apartments, containing some of the old furniture and many 
pictures, were unoccupied, but placed under their care. 

On one side of the hall was the dining-room, also panelled in 
dark oak, and with a finely carved chimneypiece reaching to the 
ceiling. On the other side, the drawing-room, a music-room, 
and the library had originally formed a fine suite of rooms, but 
now presented a mouldering and ghostly aspect. They were 
somewhat scantily furnished in the Louis XIV. style, sundry 
articles having been removed ; the chairs and stiff settees had 
dingy gold and white frames and faded embroidered coverings ; 
some antique candelabra still hung on the walls. 

The paintings were numerous, and of that kind found in old 
country-houses; some of the pictures were large dark land- 
scapes, with inky trees, distant classical palaces, and temples 
pitched upon angular hills. There were some portraits painted 
on wood, of the Holbein period, of dames in ruffs and knights 
in armor. There were also some small battle-pieces, represent- 
ing a confusion of horses and men in deadly miUe. There was 
also one hunting scene, in which a curious breed of hounds were 
pursuing a still more exceptional specimen of a wild boar. 

Among this collection of ancient art I presently found my- 
self arrested by three pictures, portraits of the Georgian era ; 
they were likenesses of a gentleman, a lady, and of a handsome 
youth. Who the painter was, or whether a critic would have 
pronounced them valuable as works of art, I cannot say, but they 
interested me exceedingly. 

" That," said the old woman who accompanied me, as she 
pointed to the picture of the pleasing youth — " that was the last 
squire ; some people say he was juardered, some that he was 

••• v •• : 
• •* 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 



hanged, but sure it was he never returned to live at Ravens- 
thorpe. And them two," continued the old woman, " were his 
father and mother. He," said she, pointing to one of the pict- 
ures which had so much struck me — that of an elderly man in 
a red coat and white wig, " he was called the Wicked Squire, 
and well he deserved the name, he was that cruel to the poor ; 
and folks do say he still walks. Not that I have ever seen him, 
and I hope I never may." 

The three likenesses were so real, so lifelike, they kept me 
riveted to the spot. They looked as if these people had lived, 
loved, enjoyed, and sorrowed, like us poor ordinary mortals in 
this nineteenth century. 

The Wicked Squire's head was surmounted by a long white 
wig with many curls, his wrists were surrounded with ruffles of 
rare point, the same lace composed his jabot. His coat was of 
red velvet. It was a singularly hard and shrewd countenance that 
looked out from the canvas. He was a man who evidently had 
never had his faith shaken in the divine right of birth. He had 
lived before the French Revolution had awakened in any one's 
soul a doubt as to the talismanic nature of good blood. 

The lady was blue -eyed, and looked delicate and fragile. 
Her features were finely formed, and she was dressed in white. 
The youth's likeness was a full-length portrait. He was repre* 
sented with an antique gun in his hands, and with two grotesque 
shooting-dogs fawning upon him. He had a handsome face f 
something resembling his mother's. His fair hair, unpowdered, 
hung upon his shoulders, while his complexion was as pink-and- 
white as a girl's, and the expression of the countenance was 
light-hearted and gay. 

This represented Nevill Ravensthorpe at the age of sixteen ; 
he was afterwards the first Lord Ravensthorpe. 

I found in the records of a noble family that Nevill Ra- 
vensthorpe had written a memoir of his singular and eventful 
existence. It is his life, told by himself, but shortened and 
modernized, that I propose to give in this volume. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 



CHAPTER I. 

AN OLD AUTOBIOGRAPHY. 

Bath, January, 1799. 

My dear Grandson, — When you arrive at man's estate you 
will hear from the foolish talk of neighbors and of others that 
your grandfather's life was not like that of other men. They 
may calumniate me, call in question ray rectitude and my honor, 
and then, my dear child, I should wish you should know the 
truth. It has pleased divine Providence that I should play a 
great part in the vising and falling of a kingdom. It has pleased 
that higher power to bring me back to my own country in 
honor, in wealth, in prosperity, after many dangers, after many 
sorrows. Who would have courage to tread the path of a life 
so strange, so eventful, as mine? Had I known at the outset 
the anxiety I should endure, the griefs and losses I should meet, 
the enmities I should create, the misconceptions I should en- 
counter, the perpetual peril of my life in which I should live, 
the bitter disgrace that darkened all my early life, I might 
have paused at the outset. Dear grandson, may Heaven spare 
you a life as sad and lonely as mine has 4>een, yet may Heav- 
en give you that divine and unfailing love of a dear spouse 
and children, those noble friendships that I once possessed ; the 
satisfied conscience, the knowledge that you helped your coun- 
try at its need — these are gifts of Heaven which I have enjoyed, 
for they have alleviated my darkest days. 

As my enemies have destroyed all record of my birth, I now 
state that I was born on the 26th of June, and christened at St. 
Margaret's, Westminster, in 1729, and that my mother's name 
was Dorothea Mordaunt, of Hall, an ancient family of North- 
amptonshire. 

My earliest recollections are of Hogben's farm, where I was 
put to nurse. I recall myself seated upon the red-tiled kitchen 
floor, while Joan Hogben, my foster-mother, dressed in a stuff 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 5 

gown, a straw hat with green ribbons, and Spanish leather 
shoes, received great pails of milk at the kitchen door. 

I remember with pleasure the large family of my foster 
brothers and sisters, healthy, good-humored children, who car- 
ried me with them into the busy hay-fields, or into the lanes 
full of foxgloves and primroses, which were close to the farm. 

My first lessons in life were drawn from no books or stern 
schoolmaster, but from Nature herself, ever beautiful and young. 
The world to me was made, as God made it, a universe of blue 
skies, purple mountains, and green trees. All the long summer 
days I spent in the meadows, full of high grass, or in the dim 
woods under tall pines or broad-spreading oaks, or I played by 
the brook, watching the minnows and trout hiding among the 
stones. Honest Farmer Hogben was a hard-working, thrifty 
man, and there was rude plenty, good-humor, and happy con- 
tent in that small upland homestead. 

Still, although I lived with the Hogbens, and shared their 
simple life, from my earliest dawn of memory I knew I was 
" the little squire." The respect with which I was treated 
soon imbued me with the doctrine of my own importance. I 
was dressed in a manner becoming my quality, my coat was of 
velvet, my stockings of silk, and my ruffles of fine lace. 

When I was five years old I returned to my home of Ravens- 
thorpe. 

Once in three or four days or so, if he were at home, I was 
presented to Squire Ravensthorpe, who I was instructed to rev- 
erence as my father, and I was permitted to kiss his hand. By 
some process — I know not how — by the chattering of serving- 
men and wenches, I became beyond measure proud of being 
" the heir of Ravensthorpe," and I learned also the less pleas- 
ing fact that my father was " the Wicked Squire," and that 
" the devil would come some day and carry him away." 

When I first heard this from my mother's maid, Mrs. Honor, 
I was so. young that I accepted the statement, and waited for 
the event to occur, knowing neither who the devil might be, 
nor why my father was wicked, or why he should be taken 
away; but when some years later I discovered that this ending 
of the squire's career was improbable, by that time, like the 
rest of his household, I had learned to hate him sufficiently bit- 
terly to wish that such a supernatural ending of his evil life 



6 PRIMUS IN IND1S. 

were possible, as a warning to other men. But the powers of 
evil never disturbed him ; like many other bad men, he lived 
to a green old age and prospered in all his wicked undertak- 
ings. 

My mother had the remains of being a beautiful woman. 
Her features were fine and her figure was tall and slender, while 
her hands and feet were the smallest and most delicately formed 
I have ever seen. But she looked sickly and ill ; it was thought 
she had the vapors, and was in a declining way. She seldom 
smiled, and had contracted a gloominess of disposition hardly 
to be wondered at, considering the solitude in which she lived 
and the harassing thoughts which oppressed her. To me she 
was the best and most tender of mothers ; not given to many 
endearments, but still just and kind. 

Hapless lady ! She was that most solitary of all human be- 
ings, a hated and neglected wife. She was an intensely proud 
woman, and she never complained, not even opening her mind 
to me, and friends and neighbors she had none. I have heard, 
when she was a mere girl, and was first ill-used (for the squire 
when drunk thought not over-much of striking her), that she 
had complained to her brother, Mr. Mordaunt, of Hall, and that 
her relations had written her a homily on wifely submission, 
and told her they hoped she would bring no discredit on her 
kindred. She wrote to them no more, and accepted her fate, 
not submissively at heart, for that was not her nature, but de- 
corously and silently. 

One night, when I was thirteen years old, I awoke to find my 
mother standing by my bed and weeping bitterly. This was 
the more surprising to me as she was habitually so calm and 
silent. 

" Madam," I cried, feeling much terrified, " why do you 
weep ?" 

" I meant not to wake you, child," said she. 

" Can I do nothing to comfort you, dearest lady ?" 

" No, Nevill, my son. I am forsaken even by Providence. 
You arc all I have in the world ; for you I live, for you I hope, 
and now they have injured even you." 

" None are forsaken of Heaven, madam," cried I, for both 
my tutor and my mother had taught me their own unfeigned 
piety and love of God. 



PBIMU8 IN INDI&. 



" I am rebuked by thy pious thought, but that thou shouldst 
be ruined and disgraced, that is more than I can bear." . 

" Madam, what has happened ?" 

" I dare not tell thee, Nevill. I cannot bring my mind to 
believe it, or my tongue to utter so terrible a disgrace." 

She regained her usual composure, and embraced me over 
and over again, and then left me. 

I expected next morning to have seen my mother as miser- 
able as before ; but no. She sat presiding at her tea equipage ; 
her hair was powdered, and she wore her Mechlin-lace mob-cap. 
I could not believe she was the same heart - broken, weeping 
woman. Moreover, she answered me very sharply when I would 
have spoken to her about what she had said, and she never 
again referred to her visit. 

If I awoke in the night for some time afterwards I feared to 
see her again, but she never appeared, and she never, either 
by words or signs, admitted she had come. I thought that 
she looked even more pale and careworn than of old, and often 
stood lost in thought, with an anxious air, like a person waiting 
or watching for evil tidings. To me she was more than ever 
gentle and loving, but it was an affection mingled evidently 
with compassion. 

My mother and I, and my excellent tutor, Parson Walton, 
lived so much apart from the squire, that when we heard of 
his lawsuits and other high-handed proceedings it seemed to 
be happening in some far place, like in the Grand Seignior's do- 
minions, and not near us ; and, after all, the town of Gloucester 
was forty miles from us, and we never went there. 

As I grew old enough, I was confided for several hours daily 
to the care of the chaplain, Parson Walton, who was the most 
learned and the most kind and simple-minded of men. He re- 
mained with us many years, and made a good classic scholar 
of me. He was my poor mother's only friend and consoler, 
though it was not in her nature to have made any one a confi- 
dant of her secret unhappiness, a misery which was open enough, 
but never spoken of by her. 

My mother passed through the tedium of the many hours 
of her lonely life by doing needlework and by reading books. 
She was skilled in the French and Italian tongues, and these 
she herself taught me. She read also the works of many new 



48 PRIMUS IN INDI6. 

authors, such as the romances of Mr. Fielding, the elegant writ- 
ings of Mr. Addison and Mr. Swift, and she was equally familiar 
with the works of Shakespeare, Milton, and Spenser ; thus she, 
who was so cut off from all intercourse with living minds, lived 
in familiar companionship with the great thinkers of past time. 

I have often heard my father say that my mother had " the 
very devil of a temper," and yet, luckless lady, she said nothing, 
but there was a quiet, polite scorn in many of her words, a curl 
of her delicately formed lips, a fire in her blue eyes, which told 
the dissolute wretch to whom she was tied in lifelong slavery 
that Dorothea Mordaunt might be injured but never subdued. 
The squire, who feared neither man nor devil, absolutely feared 
her. 

Squire Ravensthorpe never spoke to her except to swear at 
her occasionally; his days he spent out of doors in the hunting- 
field, or in the law court at Gloucester. She was his housekeeper 
(although the very servants were divided into two factions, for 
" Madam " or " the Squire "), but having a capacity for busi- 
ness, and being careful of money (which the squire loved inor- 
dinately), my mother managed the household. She first super- 
intended the cooking of his honor's meals, and then carved the 
joints at table. My father shared his dinner with certain bot- 
tle-companions, a parson, an attorney or two, or now and then 
some of his tenant farmers. Madam Ravensthorpe entered the 
dining-room with the first dish and went out on the opening of 
the first bottle, stopping only to drink " To the king over the 
water." My father and his companions, after singing many 
songs, &nd shouting and hurrahing, never left the table until 
they were carried away " blind drunk " by the servants. The 
squire always rose, however, before daylight to go fox-hunting, 
so that Madam Ravensthorpe had few opportunities of enjoy- 
ing the squire's society, had she any wish to do so, which I 
think was not the case. 

Madam Ravensthorpe had never loved the squire, so it was 
said ; she had but a fortune of three thousand pounds, and, as 
my father's estate brought in four thousand a year, her family 
had insisted upon this marriage. It was true that my mother 
had a coach and four, in which she could have driven ; but as 
the roads were all but impassable from ruts and holes, and there 
were no neighbors to visit, madam rarely went abroad. Besides 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

this, the squire admired a lady in the market-town of Thorn- 
leigh, and my mother disliked meeting her rival, younger and 
more sprightly than herself, and rarely went abroad except when, 
for a short time every year, she went to London. 

The squire accredited my mother with entertaining the most 
malevolent sentiments towards himself. He would tumble off 
his horse after a long day's riding and bawl to her from the 
hall-door, " Zounds ! madam, you will be pleased to hear that 
the scent was bad and we have had a blank day," or " You will 
be delighted that the hounds have got the distemper. There's 
good news for you, curse you ! I have broken the back of 
Champion, the best horse I ever rode." At these sallies my 
mother would smile scornfully. 

That Squire Ravensthorpe drank hard, and quarrelled with 
his lady, was too common a fact to have made him a by-word 
in the county or cause him to be called " the Wicked Squire," 
but there was a churlishness and dishonesty about him pecul- 
iarly his own. He was fond of " taking the law " of every 
one. He would prosecute an old woman or a child for pick- 
ing up sticks in his woods, or his own farmers, should a cow 
stray upon any of his useless moorlands, where from time im- 
memorial cattle had grazed. 

But he showed great shrewdness in his lawsuits, and added 
much to his estates by first ruining two yeomen and then buy- 
ing in their lands for next to nothing. He also enclosed. several 
commons, which made the country-people hate him. But what 
caused him to be most dreaded was that he would never pay a 
just debt unless compelled to do so by legal proceedings. 
Wicked as he was, my mother might have conciliated him, and 
prevented much of the misery which befell us. Though a good 
and pious woman, she shut herself up in proud isolation, and 
was so created in mind that she could not unbend, but she was 
strong enough to live, suffer, and die alone. 



10 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 



CHAPTER IL 
in " '46." 

Thk autunin of the year " '45 " must ever remain most viv- 
idly imprinted upon my memory. Horsemen came continually 
to Ravensthorpe. My father discoursed in the bay window of 
the hall with gentlemen who were strangers to me, and who 
wore bucket-topped riding-boots. Squire Ravensthorpe, little 
given to weigh his words or his oaths, swore so long and loudly 
against the present Establishment that my mother told him he 
would find himself in the Tower. " And zounds," he would 
answer, " nothing in this world would give you so much pleas- 
ure. You would like to see me hanged, drawn, and quartered ;" 
and then my mother, because his continual neglect — and worse 
— had soured her character, which was by nature of the sweet- 
est, would reply : " I think, sir, you are little likely to be hanged, 
if ever you are, for a virtuous action !" 

At night the yeomanry and farmers exercised and drilled in 
our park, and it was pretty openly said< among the servants, 
" The squire was going to march to .the North." Words of 
mine can ill paint the fever of excitement we were in when we 
read in the News Letter and the Evening Post that Prince 
Charles Edward had landed in Scotland, and was rapidly march- 
ing into England itself. 

One day my mother had asked me to hold her skein of wool 
while she unwound it. This excited the squire's anger. " Such 
a miss !" cried he ; " such a molly-coddle you have made of that 
great lad — always tied to his mother's apron-string ; but I will 
make a man of him. He shall mount the white cockade and 
ride with me in my troop." 

My mother ejaculated, with great agitation, 

" He is but a child — but fifteen years old, sir—" 

" Well, madam, and what of that I I was but fifteen years 



* 
PRIMUS IN INDIS. 11 

old thirty years ago, when I rode in my Lord Derwentwater's 
following. You have made a mother's darling of him." 

" He cannot go," said my mother ; " of what use could a 
child be to them ?" 

I was not pleased with her argument, and broke in : 

"I know broadsword exercise as well as smallsword, and 
can hit a crown piece at ten paces, nearly every time, with a 
pistol ; and, mother, though never another sword were drawn, 
I will die for the king!" 

" Zounds, rrfadam ! There is some spirit in the lad, for all 
his missish look. He shall come along with me." 

No more was said at the time. 

Autumn passed, the leaves fell, my father and his troop still 
lingered, meeting in secluded parts of the park for their mili- 
tary exercise, yet making no move northward. 

In November Carlisle was invested by Charles Edward, and 
in three days surrendered ; the keys of the city were delivered 
to him by the mayor and aldermen upon their knees. The 
prince left a small garrison in that city, and then pressed south- 
wards, marching on foot at the head of his forces, dressed in 
Highland garb. 

At Manchester the inhabitants received Charles Edward with 
illuminations and other public rejoicings. On the 4th of De- 
cember, 1745, he entered Derby and proclaimed his father king. 
In London there was a great panic, the merchants shut their 
shops, and, it is stated, the Elector of Hanover sent his valu- 
ables on board a ship in the Thames, preparing for flight. 

At that time, undoubtedly, the gentlemen of England were in 
favor of the king by divine right; still, they seemed to require 
guidance, and it must be owned that a timorous inaction and a 
dastardly and ignominous spirit seem to have paralyzed all those 
whose words had been so brave in behalf of Prince Charles. 

In the month of January my father and his troop at length 
rode off to the North. I was left behind, for ray father, being 
in an ill-humor, said he " would not be plagued with a tiresome 
brat of a boy." The squire was accompanied by a few of the 
neighboring gentry, and a little cavalcade of his tenants and 
servants. 

They had barely left our parish when my father put tho 
black cockade of Hanover into his hat. On arriving in the 



12 PRIMUS Itf INDI8. 

North he tendered his allegiance and his sword to the Duke of 
Cumberland ! I despised his heartless conduct. It might, I 
reasoned, have been beyond his power to render assistance to 
the noble cause, but I could not forgive him for so basely 
abandoning the party to which he belonged. I felt rejoiced 
that I had not been a spectator of his dastardly act, and that he 
had left me at home. 

After reaching Derby, Charles' Edward met with nothing but 
ill - fortune. He retired into Scotland. This retreat was fol- 
lowed by the well-known and bloody battle of Oulloden. My 
mother and I were angry and indignant beyond measure at the 
disgraceful barbarities exercised by the Hanoverian soldiery in 
Scotland against the vanquished Royalists. As day after day, 
and week after week, we read in the Evening Post all the de- 
tails of the inhuman executions of Jacobites, in London and else- 
where, ray blood tingled with indignation, and I vowed then that 
when I grew to man's estate I would try and avenge these martyrs. 

Notwithstanding his mean submission, my father himself was 
suspected. He was removed from the bench as a justice of 
the peace, and was told that he would not be received at court 
if he appeared in London. It annoyed him to be no longer a 
magistrate, for that was a post in which, by his severity, he could 
terrify and injure the poorer sort; but he continued his amuse- 
ments of fox-hunting and drinking, while he swore and cursed 
more than ever at my mother, myself, and all his seryants. 

At the age of seventeen, in the year 1747,1 received my fa- 
ther's permission to enter at Oxford at Brazenose College. I 
went to that university with great delight, as I understood that 
the Jacobite sentiment was powerful there. 

Before starting, my mother had said to me that if at college 
I should come across one Gerard Ravensthorpe, he was a cousin, 
and I was to show him what kindness I could. He was the son 
of a Bernard Ravensthorpe, a kinsman who had been ruined in 
the rising of 1715. My mother had caused this Gerard Ra- 
vensthorpe to be educated at Merchant Taylors' at her own 
expense, and there he had obtained a scholarship for Oxford. 

At the university I spent two years, not without profit to 
myself, and there I met with much sympathetic Jacobitism and 
made many friends, but on this pleasant theme I may not 
dwell. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 13 

How distinctly I remember my first interview with Gerard 
Ravensthorpe, my kinsman, who was destined to influence my 
life — so much for evil. 

He was under middle height, and distinctly crooked and 
hunchbacked, while his legs, in their gray worsted stockings, 
looked exceedingly thin. His features were not altogether ill- 
formed, but there was a hardness about the mouth, and a gen- 
eral hawk-like expression about the eyes and nose. Altogether 
I was by no means impressed in his favor, but I endeavored to 
stifle what I thought to be unworthy feelings. His demeanor 
towards me was very subservient, and he talked well and flu- 
ently on subjects of scholarship. He soon disgusted me by 
uttering a panegyric on the reigning family ; observing my si- 
lence, he inquired whether I sympathized with the king by di- 
vine right. I let him become acquainted with my sentiments, 
and he then said : 

"Sir, you will deem me somewhat insincere, but I assure 
you my own sympathy is for the king over the water ; but as 
I belong to the foundation of a college, and am dependent upon 
its emoluments, I have to be most careful, and dare not say 
what I, and so many others at Oxford, really think." 

I felt an utter contempt for his cowardice, and still I knew 
that, in his position, common prudence recommended silence. 

At this time, three youths, students at Oxford, who had 
drunk the prince's health, had been fined, and were to be im- 
prisoned for two years, besides being sentenced to walk through 
the Courts of Westminster with a specification of their crime 
affixed to their foreheads. 

I finished my Oxford career and returned to Ravensthorpe : my 
cousin Gerard, who was some years older than myself, accom- 
panied me. But soon there was no love lost between my kins- 
man and myself. My mother and I would gladly have seen him 
depart, but he had rendered himself so useful to the squire by 
assisting him in his lawsuits, and encouraging him in any evil 
deed, that after he had been with us six weeks my mother. said: 

"Nevill, my son, this consummate hypocrite is established 
here for life. If one may regret performing a good action, I 
curse the day when I educated and nurtured this youth. His 
amiable demeanor conceals a multitude of faults, his suavity of 
manner a host of vices." 



14 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

Gerard bad gained extraordinary influence over the squire's 
mind, and, I may add, at times over mine. How little the hon- 
est and ingenuous heart of youth can conceive or realize treach- 
ery and hypocrisy ! How studiously Gerard flattered my van- 
ity, how deferentially he listened to all my opinions, how anx- 
iously he forwarded all my wishes ! A born courtier ! A man 
who so young had mastered \he weaknesses of our race was 
certain to succeed ; and I, poor youth, was rash and careless, 
and my stock-in-trade for fighting the battle of life I had gained 
from my mother and tutor. I had been taught to be truthful 
and trustful, and loyal to the unfortunate race of Stuarts. I 
may say, therefore, I was born to suffer those troubles which 
quickly I brought upon my head. 



CHAPTER III. 

A STRANGER. 

The 23d May, 1751, was the most eventful day in ray life, 
and the events which happened during those twenty-four hours 
are as clearly imprinted upon my mind, after the lapse of forty- 
five years, as if they had happened only yesterday. 

My father had taken a house in Soho Square, and I was 
within one month of my coming of age. If my mother was 
to be believed, I was a very pretty fellow. She used to declare 
that in my blue-and-silver suit I was one of the handsomest 
gentlemen in the town. I had made no small figure as a man 
of fashion. I had had a small-sword affair behind Montague 
House, and I had run my adversary through the sword-arm as 
I intended ; nor had I failed to rush rather heavily into debt, 
but that caused me no anxiety. With my Oxford friends and 
my country neighbors I frequented all the routs, balls, and the- 
atres, especially the charming gardens of Ranelagh and Vaux- 
hall, and every day at two o'clock I was carried in my chair to 
the Cocoa Tree Coffee-house, where I met the finest company. 

I recall that the morning of the 23d May was that of a 
bright spring day. The trees in Soho Square were just com- 
ing into leaf, while the brilliant sunshine lighted up even the 
gloomy houses of the town. That spring weather was typical 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 15 

of my life, for then I was a light-hearted youth without one 
sorrow, without one care. 

That morning of the 23d May, as I was sipping my choco- 
late, my cousin Gerard Ravensthorpe (who w'as now the squire's 
secretary) entered my room in a mysterious manner ; carefully 
closing the door, he whispered in my ear — 

" He is in London !" 

"Who is in London ?" cried I, and, thinking mostly of the Ox- 
ford Jew who had lent me two thousand pounds, "Is it Jacobs?" 

" No, sir," he said, " 'tis the prince." 

" What prince ?" cried I. 

" Why, rrince Charles Edward," said he. 

" Good God ! If he is discovered he will he lost." 

" Nay, sir; he will not be discovered ! He passes as a French 
gentleman of fashion, and, owing to the perfection of his for- 
eign accent, he can well carry out the part. He crossed from 
Calais in the ordinary packet-boat, and he relies upon the fact 
that few in the south of England have seen him." 

My heart beat to suffocation : I was speechless from emotion. 

" The prince lodges in a house in Westminster," my cousin 
continued ; " he has for companions a few ill-dressed Scotch 
and Irish gentlemen, especially one Law of Lauriston, an officer 
to the King of France. To judge from the prinoe's following, 
Jacobitism is not a remunerative pursuit." 

My cousin at this time professed Jacobite sentiments as pro- 
found as my own, and in my youth and inexperience I believed 
them to be as sincere. 

" And who has told you this, cousin ? Surely it is most rash 
of the prince to venture into England in this manner." 

" He is greatly changed in appearance in the six years which 
have elapsed since ' '45.' Rouge, patches, and an elaborately 
powdered wig have imparted a very different aspect to the 
handsome youth in Scotch attire, and wearing Hs own hair, in 
which garb the prince was always seen in that ill-fated expedi- 
tion. Do not fear for him, his disguise is perfect, and he has 
come for a purpose of the greatest importance." 

With what a thrill of intense pleasure I heard the news, what 
a tumult of wild enthusiasm and excited hopes it awoke in my 
breast, It was true that the citizens of London were satisfied 
to make money under the Elector of Hanover; but in the coun* 



16 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

ties, especially in the West Country, there were as many devoted 
followers of the exiled family as I was myself. 

Would I on that bright May morning have become an active 
partisan of the White Cockade had I foreseen the complicated 
web of misfortunes which threatened that cause and which 
threatened me? Man falls blindly asleep into his to-morrow; 
if he were a free agent he would not do this ; he would knotf 
his to-morrow and prepare for it ; but, alas 1 we luckless mor- 
tals know not what a day may bring forth. 

I was intoxicated with radiant dreams. I foresaw all the gen- 
tlemen of England drawing the sword from the scabbard ror 
the king. I pictured in my mind the brilliant procession of 
lords and gentlemen assisting at his coronation in Westminster 
Abbey. Some wise mentor will answer me that in thus being 
betrayed by my imagination I was lacking in circumspection ; 
but how few have cool, cautious heads at twenty, and how few 
at any age are wise enough to steer their bark of existence so 
as never to be shipwrecked by hidden rocks ? 

Be it as it may, guided by my guardian angel or my evil gen- 
ius, I, Nevill Ravensthorpe, became the poor shuttlecock of 
fate — I became but a poor straw drifted along the fierce tide 
of public events — I became the tool of heart-broken and des- 
perate men, and I joined them in attempting the impossible, 
and both I and they were driven hither and thither by forces 
too strong for us. 

This narrative will show the life-struggle of a poor mortal 
soul on earth, buffeted by evil fortune, too weak to resist des- 
tiny, and yet too strong at heart to submit tamely to the inex- 
orable. 

" Should yon wish to see the prince, I can present yon," said 
Gerard to me. • 

"Yon present^ me!" I cried. It seemed ridiculous assump- 
tion on the JJftrt" of my ill-shaped and obscure kinsman to pre- 
sent me, the heir of the house of Ravensthorpe, to my lawful 
sovereign and .liege prince ; for if my education had failed to 
give me cautidn, it had imbued me with a deep sense of ray 
rank and birth. 

" As you like, sir," he answered. " Should you know any 
one of more exalted rank, and more worthy to present yon, I 
hope you will forgive my presumption ; but the prince dare 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 17 

not let his presence be known to many. I am one of the few 
in his confidence. If you care to come I will this evening con- 
duct you to his lodgings at Westminster." 

" I will come," I answered. 

I spent a day of feverish excitement ; this day was to be the 
turning-point of my life. I now clearly see that my crafty 
' kinsman, knowing my hot-headed, inconsiderate character, and 
my enthusiastic temperament, expected that I should bind my- 
self to a hopeless cause, and that he hoped to reap advantage 
from my misfortunes. 

The evening came. Dressed in plain, dark clothes, my cousin 
being in his usual dress, a snuff-colored suit, we called a hack- 
ney coach and drove to Westminster. 

Under the shadow of the great abbey we dismissed our con- 
veyance and proceeded to our destination on foot. We passed 
by Dean's Yard, Great College Street, Tufton Street, and some 
other busy thoroughfares, and then reached a countrified road, 
where, near the river, stood a house in a walled garden. 

We entered its gateway, and in its private grounds before the 
door an empty sedan-chair waited, while the chairmen, not in 
livery, loitered about. 

I observed that the house appeared large, but seemed neg- 
lected and deserted ; but I had barely time to look round the 
scene, the neighborhood being new to me, when we were ac- 
costed by a tall man of military appearance in a scarlet-and- 
gold uniform of rather shabby splendor. He saluted us. 

" This, sir," said Gerard, introducing me, " is Mr. Law of 
Lauriston, in the King of France's service, who will conduct 
you to the prince. And this, sir," said he, addressing the 
stranger, " is * the heir of Ravensthorpe.' " 

Mr. Law bowed low to me with great courtesy. I thought 
I had never seen a more noble countenance, or a man of more 
striking presence and carriage. This stranger, whose acquaint- 
ance I now made, and who afterwards so much influenced my 
life, was not many years my senior. Mr. Law had an exceed- 
ingly handsome face, with finely cut features, dark eyes of sur- 
prising keenness, and his long brown hair was tied back into a 
queue. Although he had a resolute face, still he had also a 
very light-hearted air. I was irresistibly attracted towards him. 

" Mr. Nevill Ravensthorpe," he said, " I have been commis- 

2 



18 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

sioned by his royal highness to say how much pleasure he an- 
ticipates in making your acquaintance, and how your family 
are known to him for many generations as being some of his 
most loyal and devoted servants." 

By this time Mr. Law, with a key, had opened the door of 
the gloordy house, and we entered a hall in which no porters or 
footmen waited. Its emptiness seemed to echo our voices and 
footsteps. He led me up an uncarpeted wooden stair, and, on 
the landing of the first floor, he said : 

" You will be so obliging as to wait in the prince's ante- 
chamber until his royal highness is at leisure to see you, for I 
need hardly remind you of the many engagements and weighty 
matters that demand his hourly attention." 

Mr. Law opened a door and ushered me into an empty room 
— empty do I say — yes, it was very empty of furniture ; a few 
chairs, a settee, and a square table, on which burned two wax 
candles in silver candlesticks, were all the adornments of the 
lofty and large room — but a figure stood motionless by a tall 
white-marble fireplace, and that object will never be effaced 
from my memory until my dying day. 

The figure standing by the fireplace was that of a slight and 
elegant lady ; but when Mr. Law ushered me into the room and 
asked me to be seated, she never moved nor seemed to be aware 
of my entrance. The lady was rather above the middle height, 
and wore her brown locks without powder. Her hoop was 
comparatively small, and the short skirts then in vogue permitted 
a charming foot and ankle in a white stocking and pink silken 
shoe to be distinctly visible. Her arms were bare to the elbow, 
beautifully white and slender, and on her small hands sparkled 
diamond rings of great value and of the finest water, while on 
her wrists were great golden bracelets. I observed that her 
ruffles were of the finest old point. I noticed that her features 
were regular, that her eyelashes were long and dark ; but she 
seemed lost in thought, and did not for one minute raise her 
eyes from the ground ; a riding-hood partially covered her head, 
and a long dark cloak in part concealed her magnificent dress 
of pink and silver brocade. I wondered much who this young 
and beautiful woman could be, and why she waited in the 
prince's antechamber. 

When Mr. Law re-entered the room her features became deep- 



T . 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 19 

]y animated and she addressed him in French, but in so low a tone 
that I did not hear what she said ; however, with a quick move- 
ment of her slender white hands, the lady untied a green ribbon 
which bound together a vast number of documents seemingly 
of a legal character. 

They then entered into a long private conversation. I fancied 
that I was the subject of their remarksi They mentioned many 
names strangely familiar since childhood to my ears : the manor- 
house of Buckland, which was but ten miles distant from Ravens- 
thorpe — the hamlet of Buckland New Cross — the Hare and 
Hounds Inn — Sir John Joddrell, one of my Gloucestershire 
neighbors, if such he could be called, as he lived twenty-five 
miles away. 

I rather resented being a listener in matters that seemed to 
concern me, but which I could not distinctly hear nor clearly 
understand, as their conversation was carried on in French, so 
rapidly spoken that my uncultivated ear could not grasp the 
sense of the words. 

" Sir," said the lady, turning suddenly towards me, " I am 
deeply gratified to find from Monsieur Law that a person of 
your position, talent, and spirit has entered our ranks. Believe 
me, that your reputation for honor, courage, and loyalty are not 
altogether unknown to us." Her voice was wonderfully musi- 
cal and low, but it was the influence of her eyes and smile 
which enraptured me. It was true that her features were pretty, 
and sufficiently regular, but it was not until the forces of her 
eyes and smile beleaguered the citadel of my heart that it fell 
captive. Her mouth had a wonderfully sweet expression, and 
her eyes were large and lustrous. I did not knew the name, his- 
tory, or even nationality of that lady ; but so overpowered and 
bewitched was I by the glamour of her soft voice and wondrous 
eyes, that I would have gladly died to render her a service, and 
I would have followed her to the world's end. 

" Sir," said Law of Lauriston, addressing me, and he seemed 
somewhat disturbed, "news has reached us of such great 
moment that I fear I must ask you, for to-day, to postpone 
your audience with the prince." 

I bowed, and rose to leave. 

" Stay, sir," he cried. " If I read your character truly, you 
are anxious not only to join us, but to serve our cause," 



20 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

I answered gravely that my life and fortune were at the 
prince's orders and disposal. 

" That is the noble answer I expected from you. Yon could 
render us a most valuable service should you consent to deliver, 
in person, these documents immediately to Captain Surcouff, of 
the brig I)ontelle, sailing to-night to St. Malo. He is to be found 
across the river, at the sign of the Silver Flagon, at Lambeth ; 
moreover, would you permit this gentlewoman to accompany 
you, or rather to be your guide. It is necessary she should herself 
see the captain. You will wonder at our choosing so fair an emis- 
sary ; but in this affair, which needs the greatest discretion and 
secrecy, she is the only .person whom we can at this minute 
rely upon.'* 

I bowed, and professed my readiness to serve the prince, and, 
I might have added, to serve this enchanting stranger. 

She gathered together her documents with no ungraceful 
haste, drew her hood over her beautiful yet calm face, her long 
gloves on her bare arms, and wrapped her cloak over her mag- 
nificent dress. Law led her down the staircase to the front 
door, kissed her hand, and she entered the chair I had before 
seen in waiting at the door. 

The porters lifted their light load. I walked along by the 
side of the conveyance as her protector. 

" Sir, when we reach Lambeth," said the sweet voice of the 
lady, " you will easily discern Captain Surcouff of the brig 
Dontelle. He is a short, burly Frenchman, with rings in his 
ears." 

As we neared the Thames, the lights streamed gayly from 
various taverns on the river-side, from which sailors and rois- 
terers sang loudly ; while some of the streets through which we 
passed were crowded with men and women of the lowest class. 
In truth I felt very nervous for my fair charge, who was loaded 
with priceless jewels, and not altogether at ease about myself. 
The press-gang had of late been so hot in these poor and nau- 
tical neighborhoods that I knew I myself might be seized, will- 
ingly or unwillingly, to serve his Hanoverian majesty, only no 
press-gang, thought I, shall ever take me alive, and never will I 
wear the livery of the Elector. 

We reached the river at length. It ran swift and dark before 
us. I engaged one of the many boats waiting to take us across 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 21 

to Lambeth. My mysterious guide stepped silently from her 
chair, seated herself in the stern, and we pushed off. It was a 
clear night, the stars shone brightly overhead, the lights of the 
houses on both banks were reflected in the waters of the run- 
ning river. 

On reaching the opposite shore our craft ran in among others 
then empty, moored before a flight of wooden steps. Standing 
on the river-bank I could perceive a large, many-gabled inn. 
Its sign flapped backwards and forwards with the rising winds, 
while the candle-light streamed cheerfully from its open door 
and from the great bow-window of its parlor. 

" Sir," said the lady, " I will wait until you return. Should 
the French captain show any incredulity — for you are a stranger 
to him — present him this ring." 

She drew one of hers from her slender finger and gave it to 
me. 

" Find him and bring him to me, for I must speak privately 
with him." 

I landed and entered the inn-door, from which the mingled 
fumes of hot punch and tobacco-pipes greeted me. In the 
cleanly sanded parlor, seated at many tables, were a number of 
sailors, the most cut-throat set I have ever since seen. Upon 
asking for the French captain, a burly man in sailor dress rose, 
with a foreign oath, and reeled towards the door. On seeing 
the lady's signet-ring he seemed, although partially intoxicated, 
to grasp all that was required of him, and followed me to the 
river-side. 

The sailor entered the boat with me, and we commenced 
again silently to recross the black river. I knew it must take 
the craft much longer to return, although the tide was with us ; 
for, although we had embarked at Westminster, the lady in the 
boat had requested to be landed higher up the stream at the 
Gardens of Vauxhall. 

I had as yet not exchanged a word in private with this singu- 
lar gentlewoman. Although I was but a lad and country-bred, 
I flattered myself I could whisper a well-turned compliment into 
a lady's ear and make a gallant speech as became a man of fash- 
ion, but in the presence of this mysterious personage I felt for 
the first time in my life unnerved, and incapable of making a 
remark, whether ordinary or extraordinary. 



22 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

We landed ; a running footman in a splendid livery appeared 
to be waiting for our boat. When he observed the slender, 
erect figure of this stately gentlewoman, he assisted her to dis- 
embark, and conducted her quickly to a gilt coach drawn by six 
horses ; but as she prepared to enter it the fair unknown ad- 
dressed me, 

" Sir, you have rendered me, and, still more, the cause, a great 
service; here we part, and are little likely to meet again. 
Accept my deepest and my most grateful thanks." 

" Madam," I stammered, as I bowed and kissed the lady's 
hand, " the happiest hour of my life has been to-day when I 
have had the honor of serving you and, I hope, the prince." 

My enchantress entered the coach, the sailor seated himself 
alongside her, the three footmen hung on behind, and in one 
minute the heavy, lumbersome equipage was out of sight, leav- 
ing me bewildered as one in a dream. 

Around me were a crowd of linkmen, lackeys, hackney- 
coaches, and sedan chairs. I threw a guinea to the boatman, 
and thought that I had better enter into that gay haunt of 
pleasure, Vauxhall Gardens, so temptingly near, and so familiar 
to me, and from which the glad sound of music for dancing 
came; but then I'reflected I could not present myself in so 
distinguished a company, and where I was well known, in an 
undress suit ; therefore, very unwillingly, I was forced to call a 
hackney-coach and order the coachman to take me to Soho 
Square. 

On reaching home Gerard presented himself in my apartment. 
I asked him to sup with me, for I was dying of curiosity to 
discover from him what ladies of rank were noted rebels, and 
he was equally anxious to hear how I had fared at my inter- 
view with an august personage. I only remembered, after he 
had asked me, that after all I had never seen the prince. 

This naturally awoke his curiosity ; he plied me with many 
questions, but with these I fenced — love for the lady inspired 
me with caution. I could not have talked of her to any one, 
still less to my crafty cousin. After supper Gerard rose and 
laughed in the low, sneering way peculiar to him. 

" I see, sir," laughed he, " that one of two things has hap- 
pened. You are so changed a man that either you are in love, 
or that you are guarding some royal secret Who is the lady ?" 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 23 

I denied that there was any lady in the case, bait when he 
had gone I paced up and down the room, haunted by that slen- 
deT, erect figure, by those lustrous eyes, and that soft, low voice. 
I marvelled at the singular position of one so young, and so 
beautiful, in being the tool of conspirators. When I thought 
of my enchantress, wandering almost unprotected in the lowest 
slums of the river-side, I thought it unmanly of Law of Lau- 
riston or even of the prince to employ so divine a being on 
such dangerous errands. 

I did not tell my mother of my visit to Westminster, nor 
about this lady. This was the first secret I had kept from her, 
that is, of things which were of moment. As far as the matter 
of the prince, I was pledged to keep that affair private. 



CHAPTER IV. 

WAITING. 

For the next few weeks I wandered restlessly and disconso- 
lately to every place of public amusement. I went to Ranelagh, 
to Vauxhall, to the theatres, to the Marylebone Gardens, to the 
walks in St. James's Park. I looked so intently into every 
nobleman's gilt coach drawn by six horses that the occupants 
must have thought me a most impudent fellow. But all in 
vain. I neither saw nor heard of the fair stranger I searched 
for with such unflagging zeal. 

I reasoned that so fair a lady must at least be a toast, and yet 
I never heard her spoken of. After vainly looking for her for 
many days, I concluded that in the noble but dangerous line of 
conduct she had adopted she found it safer to avoid all places 
of public entertainment, and I despaired of ever seeing her 
again. The more so as, some informer having reported the 
prince's presence in town, although, indeed, he had openly pre- 
sented himself (so it was said) at a rout at my Lady Primrose's, 
it was thought too unsafe for him to remain ; he had fled, and 
where he was hiding I knew not. This caused me much sor- 
row and indignation. I had not only lost my chance of being 
presented to him, but also every hope of meeting the fair stranger 
again at the gloomy house in Westminster. 



24 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

However, I took boat and had myself again carried to the 
Silver Flagon, at Lambeth, in the hopes of seeing the French 
captain, but heard there that he had sailed, and I found the 
coffee-room parlor crowded with dirty, noisy politicians, who, 
from what I gathered, held Whig opinions ; so I cared not to 
stay, for fear of being angered and finding myself in some low 
brawl Then I again visited the house in Westminster, but 
found the garden-gate locked, and no one answered my call at 
the bell. Still the place where I had met her had a strange 
attraction to me. 

One day, while on the river-bank looking out on the noble 
river Thames crowded with boats and barges, I met Mr. Law, 
and right glad I was to see him. I fell into conversation with 
him, and at once — it was little in my nature to beat about the 
bush — I asked him the lady's name. 

"Mr. Ravensthorpe," said he, in an almost sullen manner, 
"to tell you the truth, I care not to divulge her name and 
rank ; let it suffice that she is the most virtuous and the most 
unfortunate of women." 

"But is it impossible that I may meet her in London, 
sir r * 

" Those who join our side are at present persecuted and out- 
lawed, and common prudence obliges them to conceal their 
names and identity. This lady, of all others, has reason to 
avoid the notoriety her beauty and wealth might bring her, did 
she not live in the strictest retirement." 

" Then I may never see her again ?" 

" That is what I would counsel, for I should be sorry to see 
you engaged in the pursuit of this gentlewoman, both for her 
sake and for yours ; but, as you may hear of her in connection 
with the prince's affairs, she is known among us only as the 
Lady Cynthia." 

Law then told me Charles Edward was again in London, and 
that evening introduced me into the prince's presence. 

Charles Edward was seated at a table in a small room ; with 
him were Sheridan, an Irishman, who had been his tutor, and 
Strickland, a priest. The prince was richly dressed in olive- 
colored velvet, and wore a fine brocaded waistcoat. His face 
was high-featured and singularly handsome, and his eyes dark- 
blue and full of fire, while his fair hair was unpowdered. His 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 25 

countenance often lighted up with the most winning smiles, 
although, while at rest, the cast of his features was melancholy. 
An air of sadness had become almost habitual to him, and I 
have heard that he felt so acutely the terrible events of the 
year '45, that if by misadventure they were recalled in his pres- 
ence he fell into convulsions. 

But at the time when I had the extreme honor of this inter- 
view, both his highness and his followers were very buoyant 
and full of hopes of ultimate success. We all expected men, 
money, ships, and arms, from the King of France. When these 
reinforcements arrived they were to be landed in Cornwall, and 
he fully expected the whole West Country would then rise and 
declare themselves in favor of the king by divine right 

Law of Lauriston had surprised me by showing me a paper 
containing the signatures of those men of mark in the kingdom 
who had secretly joined themselves to the Stuart cause. 

Words can ill paint my overpowered feelings as I knelt and 
kissed Charles Edward's hand. When I reflected how much he 
had suffered, how cruelly he had been wronged by being de- 
prived of the throne of his ancestors, and that his enemies, not 
satisfied with depriving him of his birthright, absolutely thirsted 
for his blood, and had put a sum of money upon his gracious 
head, I was outraged by the wickedness and baseness of these 
times, and I was determined that every energy of my mind and 
soul, every drop of blood in my veins, and my whole fortune, 
I would dedicate to the service of my king, and that I should, 
from that day forth — God willing — live and die for him. 

The prince questioned me as to whether my father was to be 
persuaded to join him ; I blushed with shame when I had to 
own that he had submitted to the usurper and his faction. At 
this he looked serious. Law then questioned me as to whether 
arm 8, powder, and other munition of war, landed from France, 
could be safely concealed in our county, to be ready for use 
when time should serve, for how soon the time or occasion 
should arise we none of us knew. 

. On reflection I undertook to conceal these arms, which I 
could safely do, on my own land, when I came of age, without 
the knowledge or consent of my father, for I had inherited in 
Gloucestershire an estate from my uncle consisting of some up* 
land farms and a manor house, far remote from any town, and 



26 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

calculated to lend itself as a place of security and conceal- 
ment. 

I promised, also, when the rising took place, to bring with 
me my tenants and neighbors, and to assist the cause openly 
and secretly as much as in my power lay; I then added my 
name to a list of many other gentlemen and noblemen, and, as 
I signed the paper, my heart was full of joy and pride that it 
was in my power to join myself to so just and so righteous a 
cause. 

Prince Charles Edward had the noblest presence and most 
royal carriage I have ever seen. He was very tall and remark- 
ably graceful, but there was a charm in his manner and a fasci- 
nation in his demeanor few could resist. At heart I had always 
been his adherent, but after seeing him I felt for him the most 
unbounded personal devotion, a loyalty which I still think was 
the duty of every man of honor and of religion, especially when 
I reflect that he was God's anointed, and had received the right 
to govern this nation from the Almighty himself. On leaving, 
the prince presented me a likeness of himself, set in pearls, a 
gift which showed more the munificence of his, disposition than 
the state of his fortunes. 

When I left the royal presence my heart was hot within me 
at my father's conduct. It was very bitter to think that he was 
losing at cards the money with which he ought to have paid 
for troops for his sovereign. That he who should have raised 
the country was occupying his time in coquetting with some 
fair enchantress at a public breakfast at Ranelagh ; and that in- 
stead of drilling soldiers and collecting arms he was spending 
every night in the mock heroics of the play-house, or decked 
out in flowered satin, lace and periwig, with his, feet in shoes 
too fine for walking, he was being conveyed in a sedan-chair 
to dance like a puppet in a minuet. It were absurd, indeed, 
to expect high-minded energy or courage from him, and the 
saddest part of all was that, although few in his rank were so 
avaricious or base as he, there were hundreds as frivolous and 
unmanly. 

I never saw the prince in London again. He left and 
found a shelter and a warm welcome in the west of England 
among the loyal and chivalrous gentlemen of Devonshire, 
Somerset, and Wales. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 21 



CHAPTER V. 

COMING OF AGE. 

It is given to all men to be born and to die, and to soma 
few that the world should make merry when they come of age. 
On the 26th of June, 1751, great rejoicings were made in our 
manor-house, and in our village, and in several neighboring par- 
ishes, on the day I reached my majority, a very eventful day 
to me, but in a way the world little suspected. 

From early dawn the bells of the parish church had rung out 
a merry peal ; all our tenants had been feasted, an ox had been 
roasted whole, and at night bonfires were lit. 

This day, I am sure, was one of the happiest in my mother's life 
— she was so overjoyed with pride and pleasure. She was deter- 
mined that rich and poor should share in her great satisfaction. 

My mother caused eight fat hogs to be killed, and dealt 
about her chines very liberally to her meaner neighbors; be- 
sides this, she sent a string of hog's-puddings and a pack of 
cards to every poor family in the village. She allowed a double 
quantity of malt to her small beer, and set it running for twelve 
days, and ordered it to be given to every one that called for it. 

But what excited Madam Ravensthorpe beyond measure was 
that there was to be a ball at the Hall. The dancing was to 
take place in the great gallery in the left wing of the house, 
where it is recorded that on one occasion Queen Elizabeth had, 
in old times, danced with Leicester. 

For this entertainment my mother had ordered a dress from 
London. It was of red and gold brocade, which she wore over a 
petticoat of red satin. I was to wear a suit of white and gold, 
which my mother was pleased to say was most becoming to me. 

As my father was now a loyal subject, his grace of Port- 
chesjter, the lord lieutenant of the county, had graciously ac- 
cepted our invitation. I was to open the ball by dancing a 
minuet de la cour with his daughter, the fifth and sole unmar- 
ried daughter of his grace. 



28 PRIMUS IN INDIA. 

" This night, dearest son/ 9 said my mother, " thou mayest 
meet thy fate, for the squire would marry thee to a wealthy and 
beautiful lady." 

" An arrangement which, nevertheless, might be unpleasing 
to me, madam." 

"This marriage would build up thy fortunes, although" — 
here my mother hesitated — " her father is a Whig, an upstart, 
as we call all new people ; and besides, I believe, a Dissenter." 

" Madam, is it possible that you can recommend such an al- 
liance ? You are jesting with me." 

"For my part, you know, dear son, I deeply value the 
Church, but I am not of the opinion of certain fox-hunting 
squires, who think religion consists in hating Presbyterians and 
pulling down meeting-houses." 

" A Whig family ! What say you to that, madam ?" 

" These new-moneyed people are all Whigs. They are all for 
King George and the present establishment. I should be glad 
to see you married to a good fortune. Your position is so in- 
secure," said the lady, with a sigh. 

" My position insecure ? You talk in riddles, madam ; but 
know that even to please you, the most incomparable of wom- 
en, never, as long as I live, would I marry a lady who is a Whig 
— a Dissenter — and who has neither birth nor breeding." 

The guests arrived, and soon the room was filled ; the music 
struck up, and I led out the Lady Betty to dance. This gen- 
tlewoman was tall and thin, and not in the first flush of her 
youth ; her nose and chin displayed a tendency to meet ; still 
she danced with much dignity and grace. I, for my part, was 
an expert and experienced dancer, but on that occasion I nearly 
brought eternal discredit apon myself by standing still, wholly 
unable to move. It was only by the greatest effort of self-con- 
trol that I was able to perform ray share in the dance. What 
had so disconcerted me was that I perceived a lady standing 
among our guests and talking affably and pleasantly to my 
cousin Gerard. There, indeed, stood my lady ! that mysteri- 
ous personage I had searched all over London ineffectually to 
find. 

The Lady Cynthia stood there ! Dressed in the same pink- 
and-silver brocade, the same unpowdered hair, the same price- 
less jewels, the same white hose, and pink silk shoes. 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 29 

When I had conducted the Lady Betty to her seat, and had 
bowed over her hand, I drew ray cousin aside. 

" Good God ! Gerard," I cried. " Who is that lady ?" 

"What lady, my dear sir?" laughed he. "I believe yon 
have seen a ghost ; you are as white as ashes and are trembling 
in every limb." 

" Tell me instantly ; I will not be trifled with, sir," I cried. 
"Tell me who is that lady in the pink-and-silver brocaded 
dress ?" I had my hand on ray sword, and I felt that if he did not 
answer my question at once I should draw and run him through. 

"Odds-bodkins! are you mad? Will you kill me? Why, 
surely she is only our pretty neighbor, Mistress Patty Orme." 

" Who is she ?" I inquired. " Are you sure that is her name ? 
Are you for once speaking the truth, Gerard ?" 

" Do you wish to insult me ?" said my cousin, an angry flush 
covering his usually white face; "used as I am to insolence as 
a poor dependant, still even I — " 

" Forgive me, cousin ; I meant no insult ; but I have been told 
the lady has another name, and I am so puzzled and surprised 
that I hardly know what I say ; I assure you I meant no offence." 

On this Gerard recovered his temper, and gayl} T answered: 

" I perceive you are much struck with the lady, and, believe 
me, many other adoring swains have sighed in vain for the hand 
of the only daughter and rich heiress of Giles Orme. She made 
so much stir in the pump-room at Bath that she was asked in 
marriage by a needy nobleman, several half-pay officers, a Lon- 
don alderman, and an old Turkey merchant of seventy, wKo 
was monstrously wealthy ; but the pretty damsel is not at all 
anxious to change her state. Mistress Patty wisely thinks that 
her admirers care more for her purse than her person, and she 
vows she will never give her hand unless her heart goes with it." 

"Heavens! Only our new neighbor at Bnckland New 
Cross," thought T. 

Still, how sweet was this part of the celebration of my com- 
ing of age ! I had hated the necessity of making myself agree- 
able to a number of unsympathetic folk, and I had almost felt 
inclined to curse the hour in which I was born, when I was 
compelled to stand up and return thanks for the uproarious recep- 
tion with which the toast of my health had been entertained. But 
now I felt the deepest interest in the whole proceedings. Here 



30 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

was this charming being associated with it, and she was sufficient 
to convert purgatory into an antechamber of the joys of heaven. 

As host, I was in duty bound to ask the Lady Cynthia to 
dance. I walked through the minuet with her, and, as depend- 
ants were on all sides, applause greeted our performance. And, 
indeed, on her part there had been the sweetest grace. And I 
then took her hand and conducted her to her seat ; I would 
full fain have talked to her. 

"Sir," said the Lady Cynthia, in a voice trembling with 
emotion, " though I greatly fear matters must arise to create 
unkindly feeling between us, I beg of you to allow me an op- 
portunity to commune with you in private. Danger threatens 
one we both serve — the prince," she whispered. 

As she uttered these words to me, Gerard Ravensthorpe ap- 
proached, and, in most courteous fashion, craved the honor of 
dancing a minuet with her. It seemed to me that she glanced 
at his misshapen figure, and that she was disposed to refuse ; 
on second thoughts she recognized the cruelty of rejecting him 
on that account, and she consented. 

Considering his physical disadvantages my cousin achieved a 
minuet remarkably well. He at length led her to a place by the 
side of her father with an air of triumph, and from his general 
demeanor I surmised that I was not the only one who had ex- 
perienced the glamour of those eyes, though the idea of my cousin 
putting himself in competition to me seemed preposterous. 

I presently took the Lady Cynthia as my partner in a coun- 
try-dance, and rejoiced in her graceful movements as she stood 
opposite me, and in the touch of her hand when we met. She 
seemed to know the power of her eyes, and seemed to be spar- 
ing in the exercise thereof, as she kept them almost .constantly 
curtained by her long eyelashes. But when I did get a view 
of them, they were at one glimpse soft in their dreamy glance, 
and at another minute they were marvellously glittering in 
amusement at the comical aspect presented by two fat neigh- 
bors, who were bobbing, capering, and jigging, in the dance. 

Subsequently I had in courtesy to dance with another lady, 
and saw that Gerard Ravensthorpe had secured Mistress Orme's 
hand. To my delight, however, I once caught her eyes resting 
on me, when she immediately averted their gaze, with a slight 
suffusion of color to her face. 



* 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 31 

To my rage and despair I found I had to conduct the Lady 
Betty into supper, and my cousin escorted my enchantress. 
Fortunately for my. character as a man of courtesy, I found the 
Lady Betty very loquacious. 

I became deeply interested ; her ladyship told me much local 
news of which up to that time I had been disgracefully igno- 
rant, namely, that an heir had been born to Sir Thomas Dan- 
dridge. That honest John Pilton had broken his neck fox- 
hunting. That her sister Lady Belinda Danver's coach had 
been stopped near Evesham by highwaymen. That while 
Squire Jones and Miss Lettice Pelham had been joined in holy 
matrimony at the parish church, some of our neighbors had ab- 
solutely started for Gretna Green ; and that Tom Hampton, one 
of our oldest families in the county, had been married to heaven 
knows whom, by the chaplain of the fleet. 

" But, sir," said the singularly loud voice of my companion, 
** have you yet seen that monstrously fine house, built by this 
new upstart, Mr. Giles Orme ? 'Tis at Buckland New Cross." 

I answered her ladyship that I had not seen it, and had only 
heard vague rumors about it. 

" You ought to see it, indeed, sir. It is passing strange that 
a man no better than a tradesman should come to our county 
and ape the nobility, nay, ape even royalty itself. This new 
house at Buckland New Cross has been erected upon the model 
of an Italian palace. It is built of cut stone and contains sev- 
enty bedrooms, while the suites of reception-rooms are of di- 
mensions quite amazing ; they are twenty-five feet high if they 
are an inch. The ceilings and doors are painted and gilded 
by Frenchmen and Italians this London cit has himself brought 
from foreign parts, while the furniture of this palace i& to come 
from Paris itself. This we country-folks know to our cost; 
about us the roads are impassable from the ruts and holes 
caused by those heavy-laden wagons taking things to Buck- 
land New Cross. If you could only see the horses tugging at 
those heavy drays — why, sir ! you would think they drew loads 
of iron." 

" But Mistress Patty Orme," I ventured cautiously to remark, 
" is a young and beautiful lady." 

" She is considered pretty," said Lady Betty, determined her- 
self not to give an opinion. " She seems a most singular per- 



32 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

son ; she rides, but where she goes I never conld discover ; and 
her dress, oh ! my dear sir, 'tis ludicrous. She wears a blue 
coat trimmed with silver, like a man, and a man's hat, her hair 
is curled and powdered, and she looks a very pretty fellow. I 
admit that she wears a petticoat, and that sometimes she is 
attended by two serving-men, still she is as often to be seen 
riding alone. I have seen her horse, a fine bay thoroughbred, 
dart past my coach, and ray heart has jumped into my mouth, 
for I felt persuaded that we were beset by highwaymen." 
Soon after I conducted Lady Betty to her seat, bowed, and 
left her. 

It was a beautiful moonlight night in June; many of the 
guests had strolled out upon the terrace'; I mustered courage 
to ask the Lady Cynthia if it would please her to join them ; 
she consented. I was intensely anxious to hear what news she 
had to tell me, and I hoped to be now able to speak privately 
with her. 

Again the fiddles and hautboys struck up a concluding coun- 
try-dance, but we only heard the lively strains in the distance. 
We had strolled out of the door which opened on the terrace, 
and were standing in the full moonlight. Behind was the gray 
old hall with its mullioned windows all clearly to be seen by 
the pale moonbeams. Below us lay the terrace garden, the 
stiffly cut yew-trees throwing their vivid shadows on the nar- 
row gravel-paths of the garden. Beyond lay the park and its 
tree-clumps. But beautiful as these scenes, familiar to me from 
childhood, were, I had never before viewed them with the ex- 
traordinary tumult of feeling with which I now looked out 
upon them. 

Lady Cynthia in her costume of pale pink had a fairy-like 
aspect, and the diamond stars in her hair sparkled fitfully, but 
we made our way to a summer-house, standing in a grove of 
trees at no great distance from the manor. I felt my com- 
panion's arm trembling within mine, and she leaned heavily 
upon me for support, as if she could barely walk ; I feared she 
would swoon. 

" Madam, shall we return to the house ; I fear you are ill ;" 
for I felt seriously alarmed at the state of extreme agitation 
the beautiful being on my arm seemed to be in, as she trem- 
bled in every limb. 






9 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 33 

44 Sir, excuse the miserable state of bodily weakness I am in; 
I have had to wear a mask and seem unconcerned for so many 
hours, while the most deadly fear, the most heart-breaking anx- 
iety for one we both serve and obey, has nearly overturned my 
reason ; I am as one distraught, first one terror seizes me and 
then another. I know not which should be first, for the prince 
is to-night in a position of extreme peril, and that through my 
ill-advising." 

44 Good God, madam ! Can nothing be done ?" 

44 Such cold-hearted treason ! Such baseness, 'tis incredible ! 
Traitor ! Recreant !" 

44 Of whom do you speak, madam ?" I asked. 

44 Of Sir John Joddrell. Who would have thought that that 
fat, good-natured looking man, who capered so gayly at your 
ball this night, were so base a villain I'* 

44 Has he betrayed us ?" I knew from the paper the. prince 
had shown me that Sir John Joddrell was one of the wealth- 
iest, warmest, and most influential Jacobites in our county. 
44 If he has, by Heaven, he shall give me the satisfaction of a 
gentleman !" 

Perhaps it is not quite so bad as that ; but I fear not only 
what he has done, but what he may do. 'Tis of great moment 
the prince should revisit London shortly ; you know he has 
been right royally entertained by the gentlemen of the West 
Country, although he travels incognito. On his way to town 
he was to lie at Middleton Hall, Sir John Joddrell's seat. Mon- 
day next Sir John was to have horsed the party of four riders, 
and made arrangements for their further journey ; and now, at 
the last minute — the craven heart ! — he has sent to let me know 
that he will not receive them or horse them. lie says the 
journey to London is too perilous ! That all is discovered ! 
That the prince shall not enter Middleton Hall ; nor can he 
assist the party in any way. He has abandoned them basely !" 

44 As I live, he shall give me satisfaction," cried I, indig- 
nantly. 

44 Nor is this all ; happy the ill-news which comes singly. 
Barely had I received this blow, when quickly rides to our 
house a messenger from Squire Throgmorton the papist, and 
this just before I came to this scene of gayety, which I have 
had little heart to enjoy. The prince, says the papist,, must 

3 



84 PRIMUS IN IKDIS. • 

change his road and disguise, for some one has informed 
against him. A lieutenant and two companies of musketeers 
have tyeen marched into Evesham. The prince slept at Worces- 
ter last night, and to-night sleeps at the White Harte in 
the High Street of that town. These soldiers can only have 
been sent for his arrest 1 The prince should be informed of 
Joddrell's treason, to put it out of that wicked squire's power 
to inform against him. Good God ! to think that even at this 
minute they may be taking hhn to London guarded by Hanove- 
rian muskets !" 

" Nay, madam. We are not the only friends he has in the 
county. We will still hope." 

" Yes, but he has many bitter enemies. This Squire Jod- 
drell has turned traitor to gain favor with his Grace of Port- 
Chester, for he would wed the Lady Betty* Something must 
be done, and that quickly !" 

"Madam, the town of Evesham is but thirty miles from 
this; a messenger could let the prince know and send him to 
a place of safety*" 

" But ah, dear iftr ! if you knew as well as I do what a world 
of cold hearts and selfish wretches we live among! Who is 
now to be trusted? Like sheep they will follow suit, when 
Squire Joddrell's desertion is known. Where can the prince 
lodge with safety ? Who, except you and I, are truly loyal. 
Placemen and time-servers all ! Look, sir, whom would you 
trust?" 

She placed a long list of names in my hands. I felt per- 
plexed. There was Gaynor of Gaynor Castle, but he had lately 
been to court at St. James's; Freeman tie of Thorne House, 
loyal enough when sober, but so continually drunk that it 
would be madness to trust him with a secret; Mordaunt of 
Ebers Hall, honest enough, but under the thumb of a Whig 
wife. 

" What say you, madam, to Throgmorton the papist ?" 

" Yes, we can safely trust him, but how is the prince to be 
warned at Evesham — this very night ?" 

" Madam — Cynthia — if a. man and horse are wanted, I will 
go. 'Tis but thirty miles to Evesham, I know every inch of 
the road, and I have as good a hunter as any man in England. 
I will ride to warn the prince." 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 35 

"I would, ere this, have more than once asked your advice 
and assistance, but I am afraid, and others too are afraid, of 
your kinsman and tutor, Gerard Ravensthorpe. They have rea- 
son to think he is an informer by trade." 

" Madam, if this is true, I will pick a quarrel with him and 
run him through." 

" The ministry know that you have thrice visited the Prince 
at Westminster, and the days on which you went ; now no one 
could have known this except Gerard Ravensthorpe." 

" He is the very devil incarnate !" cried I. " What a return 
for my mother's years of kindness and the hospitality he has 
received at Ravensthorpe ? By Heaven ! madam, and as I hope 
to be saved, he shall live no more at my house, and he, too, 
shall give me satisfaction." 

" Do nothing rash ; we have no proof that he has done so 
vile an action. Sir, I act, I know, too much on impulse, and 
am carried away by every strong emotion of my heart ; but I 
look to you for guidance, for that prudence and judgment to 
which I am, alas, too much a stranger." 

"Dearest lady," cried I, falling on my knees, and kissing her 
hand. " I live only to serve my God, my king, and you." 

" Sir, the homage of a noble and generous heart like yours 
is priceless. I am confused and terrified ; I fear danger for the 
prince, I fear too for you, and for others I love more than life. 
Providence has sent you to me in my distress. I will be 
guided wholly by your advice." 

The lady after a little while grew calmer, after thinking over 
every plan, and discussing every means to best serve the prince ; 
in which the Lady Cynthia showed much wit, although her 
judgment was less marked in what she said than was her affec- 
tionate nature and high-souled loyalty. 

It was arranged that I should ride over to Evesham by cross- 
roads that night, and carefully avoid letting Gerard or my fa- 
ther surmise where I was going. I also undertook to deliver a 
purse containing five hundred pieces of gold to the prince. 
That, if he were to be persuaded to go, I should make Charles 
Edward over to the charge of the papist Throgmorton. That 
the Lady Cynthia would herself inform Throgmorton to meet 
the prince and me at the large white cross which marks the 
meeting of the four roads at Hinton. That, should Throgmor- 



36 PRIMUS IN IKDI8. 

ton fail to appear, I must bring Prince Charles Edward to Mr. 
Orme's house of Buckland Manor, although sending him to an- 
other county with Throgmorton would more insure his safety. 
The Lady Cynthia gave me many minute directions concerning 
the safety of the prince, and then remarked, with the charming 
grace never absent in all she said and did, 

" Pardon me, sir, forgive the over-anxiety of a devoted heart, 
for I know that you have but to be shown the road of duty, and 
that you will follow it, and that with greater prudence and wis- 
dom than I can display. You will know, far better than I can 
tell you, how to act." 

I bade her farewell, I kissed her hand, when she called me 
back. 

" Mr. Ravensthorpe, let me warn you. I feel intuitively — I 
know not how — that in this Gerard Ravensthorpe you have a 
most dangerous enemy. He is silent, cunning, farseeing, and 
to us and to you the most dangerous person in Gloucestershire, 
Perhaps it is that for years I have lived in the constant fear of 
danger to those I love, and thus the natural powers of my soul 
are more awakened than in most women, but I have, alas ! the 
fatal gift of reading the real characters of those people I am 
brought into contact with. I may well call it fatal, for in this 
world, if you can see enough into people's hearts, and can read 
what they really are and not what they appear, how few are there 
left to love, how few to trust ? My dear sir, do not madly pick 
a quarrel with your cousin, but meet craft with craft, guile with 
guile. May God guard you " — her eyes were full of tears — " I 
foresee that some great trouble or danger threatens you." 

" Dearest lady, my utmost gratitude for your warning ; I can 
protect myself. I shall visit blackhearted treachery with the 
just punishment it deserves." 



CHAPTER VI. 

A RIDE BY NIGHT. 



Shortly after I rode away from the stableyard, taking a va- 
lise upon my horse, and, after passing through the park, I dis- 
missed my servant, telling him to drink my health at the vil- 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 37 

lage inn. I was then alone and had no reason to believe I bad 
been observed. 

The first few miles of my solitary ride lay through Warne 
Forest, which belongs to us. It chanced to be a fine moon- 
light night, and I had time to admire the great outstretched 
branches of the ancient oaks, and the tall, dark figures of the 
firs ; the thick underwood, and the total stillness of the great 
woods, broken only by the harsh note of a night-jar, or some- 
times by the deer, startled by the unaccustomed sound of a 
horse's tread breaking in upon the stillness of the night. At 
length I came to more open country, and, as I trotted down a 
lane with high hedges on either side, I reflected that I was 
some ten miles from home, at Morton, and on the highway to 
Evesham, without having met a single human being, and con- 
sidered myself safe from pursuit. 

The dawn was breaking when I drew up at the Hare and 
Hounds inn, where I was well known. I told the hostler that 
my groom's horse had fallen lame, and that I was posting up 
to London to be in time for a cock-fight. He accepted my ex- 
planation seemingly without suspicion. He told me with re- 
gret that he could only give me a sorry nag, and I therefore got 
over the next ten miles exceedingly slow. At the Half-way 
House at Hinton, however, I was given an old hunter warranted 
to go swiftly. This was in truth the case, for I never drew 
rein for ten miles, in fact my steed all but ran away with me. 
I arrived at Evesham in consequence very much out of breath 
and covered with mud, and found the streets crowded, as it was 
market-day. 

So far I had succeeded in carrying out Mistress Cynthia's 
errand. I was in Evesham. I rode up boldly to the White 
Harte inn in the 'High Street. My great object now was to 
discover whether the prince and his friends had arrived. I 
knew it was wiser to make no particular inquiries, but to wait 
and see if I should chance to find them. A groom led away 
my horse, another servant carried away my valise to the house, 
a third attendant conducted me inside, a fourth asked me 
whejther I would join the host's table, or whether I would sit 
by myself. I said I would go to the public room. 

I entered the kitchen and saw by the fire a small table, at 
which I observed that four gentlemen, looking very travel- 



38 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

stained, were seated. I recognized at once the noble presence 
and lofty figure of the prince, and also Mr. Law of Lauriston ; 
the other two were unknown to rae. I perceived, also, that 
they recognized me, but I thought it was better to order my 
breakfast and not discover myself to them, as, being market-day, 
many people were coming and going. 

Breakfast being over, I met Mr. Law at the foot of the stairs, 
and let him know that I must confer privately with the prince. 
He therefore led me to his bedchamber, when, having deeply 
regretted being the bearer of such evil tidings, I told them my 
business ; but I never shall forget the light, gay way the noble- 
minded young prince received my ill news. 

" J oddrell's turned traitor! Ah! Lloyd. Ah! Law. This 
is, indeed, a disappointment. We have lived in village inns on 
bacon and cole worts, and drank small beer, and Law and Lloyd 
were forever talking of the venison, the tarts and syllabubs, the 
fine cook, and the old wine, at Squire Joddrell's ! and now he 
has turned traitor." 

The prince and his friends laughed so gayly at their miscal- 
culations that I could not help joining in their strange hilarity. 

Then I told them that the Lady Cynthia was of opinion 
that the prince must intrust himself entirely to Miles Throg- 
morton for safety. 

" Has he a good cellar and a good cook ?" asked the prince. 

I had to own that I knew little about him,- except from com- 
mon report. He was a rigid papist and observed the fasts of 
the Church ; but he kept a priest in his household and in his 
manor-house, and he had therefore a most admirably contrived 
secret room, in which a fugitive could hide. 

" As to fasting," cried the prince, " we are soldiers, and have 
a dispensation from the pope ; and as to a secret room, that is 
still less to my miud. Let us push on to London." 

But I explained that we feared the prince had been betrayed 
by some informer. That soldiers had been sent to Evesham 
itself. At this the prince grew more serious, and swore many 
oaths in French and Italian. 

The little party, however, were greatly cheered by the sight 
of the purse of gold which Mistress Cynthia had sent. They 
were much in want of money, and five hundred pounds was a 
noble gift. 



^-^1^1 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 3d 

"That lady," said the prince, "is the best man in England. 
If I had but one regiment of such indomitable souls, I would 
not only recover the crown of my ancestors, but conquer the 
whole world !" 

It was hastily arranged, the better to escape detection, that 
they should separate, never, as it afterwards proved, to meet 
again. Law was to go to France, Macdonald to Spain, O'Malley, 
the priest, to Ireland, and Lloyd, the Welsh squire, to return to 
his own country. They recognized the danger was imminent ; 
a few hasty farewells were spoken without much seeming agi- 
tation, and the heir of the Stuarts was left to my protection. 

Macdonald first started in a post-chaise. Lloyd then left by 
coach. The prince, Law, and I mounted our horses, after I 
had hastily paid the reckoning of the whole party. 

When we had made our way through the crowded market- 
place we rode as hard as we could for the first five miles with- 
out drawing rein, and then the prince pulled up his horse along- 
side mine. 

It was a glorious day, the wild roses in the hedges, and the 
honeysuckle all in bloom, scented the air ; while in the woods 
the trees were one mass of leaves ; the birds singing gayly, and 
the long grass of the fields was golden with buttercups. These 
things since childhood always gave me pleasure ; but the prince, 
who was fallen into a deep dejection at the loss of his friends, 
seemed hardly to observe the country through which he rode. 

I was again completely under the spell of his gracious nature, 
and greatly pitied his undeserved misfortunes. Charles Edward 
added to a very handsome person a polished and courteous man- 
ner. He seemed to me to have the courage to plan a great un- 
dertaking, and the still rarer courage of endurance which accept- 
ed without a murmur the failure of his brightest hopes. In con- 
versation he owned to me that he was weary of this hide-and- 
seek life. The time was unpropitious, and, in England, few 
were loyal to him ; for the present he said he would return to 
Italy, but he would come again, landing in the West, supported 
by foreign troops, and that he hoped this return would be be- 
fore long. I rode on with him until we came to the great sign- 
post at the cross-road near Hinton, and there we perceived a 
grave, elderly gentleman on horseback. He was dressed in a 
red coat and laced hat. He saluted us, and I recognized in him 






40 PRIM 08 IN INDIB. 

Mr. Throgmorton. I had done ray part in securing the safety 
of the prince ; but I failed not to remark that the Lady Cynthia 
had equally earned out her share in the scheme. 

Throgmorton, however, warned us that whoever had been 
the traitor was well-informed, and knew the secrets of our 
party. That his house was not safe ; that a party with a search- 
warrant had already visited his abode. He therefore recom- 
mended that Buckland Manor should be our destination. 

We heard afterwards we had by no means been too prompt 
at Evesham. About two hours after we had left the inn a 
sheriffs officer, accompanied by some soldiers, had arrived at 
the White Harte. The landlord was not minded to give any 
information, and, the inn having been very crowded, it did not 
appear clear that the people they sought had been at that house, 
and therefore no further steps were taken. 

We pressed on, and towards the afternoon dismounted under 
the portico of the great house at Buckland New Cross. 

Mistress Orme stood at the hall door to receive us. I ob- 
served that she had placed white bows on her dress, at her 
breast, and at her elbow-sleeves ; while a white ribbon adorned 
her hair. 

I was more than repaid by the glance of joy and happiness 
in her beautiful countenance on perceiving that the prince was 
safe. She received Charles Edward with a heightened color 
and evident confusion as he bowed low in return to her deep 
courtesy. But the familiarity of Mr. Law to this beautiful be- 
ing both shocked and surprised me; he leaned forward and 
kissed her white forehead with all the ease and carelessness of 
a husband or brother. 

" Ah ! Madam Patty," cried he, gayly, " we are all again in- 
finitely and eternally obliged for your ready woman's wit. But 
for you, I believe, we should be on our road to the Tower." 

She gave him a smiling glance from her brilliant and expres- 
sive eyes, and then conducted the prince into the house. Mr. 
Giles Orme, I observed, had not presented himself, as I consider 
a host should have done under such circumstances, when he was 
receiving so illustrious a personage. 

I rode back to Ravensthorpe sadly enough. I was anxious 
for the safety of the prince, and vexed at the evident good un- 
derstanding between Law and this lady. However, I tried to 



—s 



% I 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 41 

reason with myself that I had no right to be jealocs, even if 
my feeling of annoyance amounted to that. I had seen the 
Lady Cynthia but three times. I knew not her history ; but 
love is so unreasoning a passion that I did not overcome my 
unpleasing reflections by knowing them to be absurd. 

A day or two afterwards I heard accidentally that Mr. Giles 
Orrae and his daughter, in their coach and four, had left Glouces- 
tershire. 

By private messenger I received a few lines from the Lady 
Cynthia informing me that one I cared for was in safety. 

I had another piece of business to settle — Squire Joddrell 
should not escape me. There was a young man belonging to 
the county named Clinton. I had known him at Oxford, and 
knew him to be as ardent a Royalist as myself. Clinton rode 
over to Middleton Hall, carrying my challenge; he had con- 
sented to act as my second in this affair. I gave Squire Jod- 
drell his choice of time, of place, and of weapons ; but Clinton 
failed to deliver my letter, for he found that Joddrell had left 
for London. To town I proposed, as soon as I could, to follow 
him, accompanied by Clinton. 

Neither was I able to demand any explanation of Gerard, had 
I wished to do so, for both he and the squire had started to 
Gloucester to take the law of old Gaffer and Gammer Andrews. 



CHAPTER VII. 

AN OFFER OF MARRIAGE. 



A few days later, at an early hour, the squire sent for me to 
the library, where he sometimes transacted his business. 

My father was seated in an elbow chair, dressed in his red 
velvet suit, his long full-bottomed wig covered his head, and 
concealed his low and receding forehead. Mr. Secretary Gerald 
was plying his trade, seated at a table covered with papers ; as 
I entered, be rose, saluted me with great respect, and then con- 
tinned his task. 

I had been greatly puzzled why I had been sent for; my 
debts and creditors were much upon my conscience. But I 
soon discovered that my father was in uproarious good-humor, 



<. 



42 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

which surprised me, for I reflected that it was too early an hour 
for him to have been drinking. 

" Here is a fine stroke of business !" he exclaimed. " It will 
double your income, you lucky young dog. I have settled with 
her father, Mr. Giles Orme, that you should marry his daughter 
and heiress, the Mistress Patty." 

I was so wholly unprepared for this announcement that I 
did not understand what he was saying, still less did I realize 
how this singular remark vitally affected me. 

"Do ye understand?" said the squire, noticing my bewil- 
dered air. " Do you hear what I say ? Don't tell me, you un- 
grateful young cub, that you will none of this marriage." 

" But," said I, " does Mistress Orme agree to this arrange- 
ment ? Is it possible she has consented to this marriage V 9 

" What has her consent got to do with it ? Though she is 
a pretty baggage enough. Her father has consented, that is 
all that is wanted. I can't conceive there would be any objec- 
tion on her side ; indeed, her father is only a trader, while our 
family is as good as any in England." 

I stammered that, provided Mistress Orme thought me suf- 
ficiently worthy, there was no objection on my part. 

" Hark ye, sirrah 1" continued the squire, working himself up 
into one of those fits of fury with which I was so familiar. 
" Your marriage with this gentlewoman will, I hope, wean you 
from your infatuated and treasonable practices, for her father is 
a most loyal Whig. I know you are an undutiful son, a horse- 
racing, card -playing reprobate; all this can be forgiven to 
youth and folly, but that you should be an ill subject, and 
bring yourself and me to ruin, I will not suffer." 

" Sir, know once and for all, that no cowardly fear of con : 
sequence shall ever change my determination to live and die 
for the king over the water." 

" That's neither here nor there. Zounds I You will end in 
the gallows, and a very good thing too. But Squire Orme 
would speak with you ; so order your horse, and ride over to 
Buckland without any delay. And if you don't marry this 
lady — Blood ! I will disinherit you." 

Before starting, I determined to see what my mother thought 
of this sudden and inexplicable affair. 

" My dear Nevill," cried she, with an air of happiness rarely 



PRIMUS IK INDI8. 43 

seen on her face, " nothing conld delight me so much. Know- 
ing that your father, tempted by the Orme's wealth, had 
thought of such a marriage, I myself have called on the young 
lady and her father. Mr. Giles Orme seems a worthy man, 
if such are to be found among Presbyterian Hanoverians ; but 
Mistress Orme herself is lovely and most charming. I own I 
was greatly surprised ; she is perfectly well-bred, and has that 
ease of manner only to be seen among those who have mixed 
in the great world. How is it that such beauty, grace, and 
elegance can be found in the daughter of Mr. Giles Orme? 
Then, her fortune is considerable. Your father, through his 
attorney, has made every inquiry. It seems that Mr. Giles 
Orme will give as her marriage portion the whole of the fine 
Bnckland New Gross estate ; on which there are, as you know, 
two mansions. The lands bring in a rental of three thousand 
a year from twenty-six farms — and this estate adjoins our land. 
Ah, sweet son, I should die happy were you once so well mar- 
ried !" 

I kissed my mother's hand, and felt delighted that in follow- 
ing a course which so suited my inclination, I was acting in a 
way to give her pleasure. 

Still I was shocked at the suddenness, even the indelicacy, 
with which this marriage had been made up between me and a 
stranger. A lady, beautiful and virtuous, as I felt sure she 
was, still a lady whose life and surroundings were mysterious, 
and unlike those of other women. If Giles Orme were a Whig 
and a Dissenter, what was Mistress Patty, and why this indecor- 
ous and sudden haste ? 

I ordered my horse to ride over to Buckland Manor. I re- 
membered that the Lady Cynthia might desire to speak to me 
about matters which concerned the cause I valued above all 
other things, and at a quick gallop I rode over the wolds, and 
drew up at Squire Orme's house. 

I observed a number of workmen and strangers loitering at 
the door of the inn of the hamlet of Buckland New Cross, who 
seemed to me not to look like our honest Gloucestershire folk. 
I concluded they were Mr. Orme's foreign masons and carpenters. 
I even met some of the heavily loaded wagons, drawn by eight 
horses, which had so much excited Lady Betty's surprise ; indeed, 
I had to hasten my pace to escape the terrific dust they caused. 



44 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

I found Sqtiire Orme — as they called him-=-in the Cedar Par- 
lor. He was a small, thin, elderly man. His pale, pinched 
face and thin lips had none of that extraordinary sweetness 
which characterized the rosy month of Mistress Patty. 

" Sir," said he, " I am given to understand by your father that 
you are a suitor to my daughter's hand. She is too dutiful to 
refuse any marriage which I should propose to her ; still I may 
tell you that you are, yourself, far from being unpleasing to her. 
I will send for Mistress Patty, that you may hear from herself 
that your suit will be accepted both by her and by me. My 
money, I own, I draw from trade with the East Indies, but 
what I can give my daughter will be sufficient to place you 
among the wealthiest squires of England. As the estates in 
this country I have lately purchased border on your land for 
two miles, I consider that the joining of two such fine properties 
will be very advantageous, both to my daughter and for you." 

Mr. Orme presently departed, and Mistress Patty then en- 
tered. With a charming courtesy she responded to my deep 
bow. My whole soul seemed again plunged into the pensive 
depths of her eyes. I was more than ever ill at ease in her 
presence. I seemed rendered awkward and confused, now 
that I had heard that the undying affection I had so suddenly 
conceived for this lady was in some measure returned. 

" Madam," said I, taking her hand? " I shall think myself the 
most fortunate of men should you, when you know me better, 
accept my suit." 

I was soon aroused from my dreams by her saying — 

" Sir, I know that our fathers have designed our marriage, 
but, before we proceed further, I must tell you with frankness 
and candor that such a union is impossible." 

" Madam, for pity's sake give me some hope !" 

" Sir, had I been free to wed, your handsome person, and 
brave and ingenuous character, would have touched — and in- 
deed have touched — ray heart. I believe you, sir, to be the 
soul of honor; I therefore confide my secret to you. See," 
she said, drawing off her splendid rings, and showing me the 
small circlet of plain gold of a wedding-ring, " I am already a 
wife." 

" Madam !" cried I, stung with surprise and disappointment, 
" does Mr. Orme countenance this deceit, that you pass for a 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 45 

maid while you are already a wife, for both his conduct and 
yours to me is difficult to understand. It seems that you have 
conspired to jest with me and my father." 

"Pardon me, sir; when you know all you will pity and for- 
give me. Circumstances oblige me to conceal my marriage ; 
and though I love my father, who is the best of men, I dare not 
inform him of my real position. The overtures for this mar- 
riage originated with Squire Ravensthorpe. My father is anx- 
ious that I should have a home of my own ; dazzled by your 
wealth, rank, I may add by your virtues, he considered you a de- 
sirable match for me ; but I cannot marry any one." The lady's 
beautiful eyes were full of tears. "I prefer explaining my 
position to you, who I know to be worthy of trust, but I tell 
you truthfully that I should involve myself in endless difficul- 
ties should I disclose to Mr. Orme all that happened when he 
was away trading in the East Indies." 

" But, madam, tell me in charity what is the barrier that 
separates us ? To whom are you wedded V y 

44 Do not ask me to-day ; there are some things so painful that 
we cannot speak about them. I will tell you about my husband 
when I can sufficiently calm myself; but to-day it is impos- 
sible." 

44 Are you manied to Law of Lauriston ?" 

" No," she said, turning deadly pale when I mentioned his 
name ; he is a near relation, that is all the tie which unites us. 
But in pity, sir, d& not torture me by raising a host of sleeping 
memories. What can you know, sir, of such overwhelming mis- 
eries as I have lived through, or even what can you know of the 
love, the peace, and happiness which I have lost ? We are much 
of an age, but I have lived through centuries, if you count by 
epochs of happiness and years of misery. Some day, when our 
friendship counts by months instead of days, I may unfold to 
you the life of a fortunate and yet most unhappy woman." 

" Madam, I am so much your obedient servant that to see 
and love you is all I ask. I know I am unworthy of such 
worth and sweetness as yours, but count me still as your 
friend." 

44 Let that be our truce," she said with a sad smile. " You 
must tell Squire Ravensthorpe either that I will not marry you, 
or, as you will, that you will not marry me. 



46 PRIMUS IN INDIB. 

Oar interview was cut short by a footman bringing in sev- 
eral letters, on receiving which Mistress Orme turned very white. 

" A special messenger from London. God grant he brings 
good news." 

She broke the seal. A look of relief came over her face. 

"Thank God! the prince is safe: he sailed last night in 
the brig Dontelle for St. MaJo ; with so swift a craft and so 
good a captain he is in no danger. Joddrell, for the present, 
will not accept your challenge, sir. He is on his way to Paris, 
and leaves Dover to-night, and proposes to make a long tour 
through Bavaria and Italy. Either he feared being called to 
account by some loyal gentleman, or he had not the heart to 
meet his neighbors after his dastardly conduct — There, read 
that !" said Lady Cynthia, with a bitter smile. 

It was a letter from a Jacobite gentleman in London, say- 
ing he had observed Gerard Ravensthorpe stepping out of a 
ministerial house in Downing Street, and also that this Gerard 
had been to the Duke of Cumberland's levee. 

" We need no more proof of his double dealing. What call 
had he to wait upon that ruthless butcher ?" 

I shall challenge him this very night, thought I, though I 
did not confide my intention to Mistress Orme. And presently 
I took my leave of her and returned homewards. 

As I rode from the door of Buckland Manor the cold, fresh 
evening air seemed not to clear my brain. What did Law's em- 
bracing this lady mean ? What was her history ? How had she, 
a woman so essentially feminine and gentle, become so active and 
important a member of the Jacobite party ? She was beautiful 
and fascinating, and her age could barely exceed mine, although 
she looked less girlish in her morning dress than when I had 
first met her. I would as soon mistrust the sun in heaven as 
doubt that she was truth and honor itself. 

Here a rough-looking man, on a dapple mare, drew up along- 
side my horse ; the figure was so uncouth-looking that I thought 
I was on the point of being attacked by a gentleman of the 
road. However, it was not long before I recognized under the 
slouching hat the face of my foster-brother, Diggory Hogben. 

" Why, Diggory, my man, I took you for a highwayman." 

" And like I am, sir, to become one, since my betters prevent 
me leading an honest life." 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 47 

" Why, what has happened ?" 

He then told me that they were well-nigh mined by my 
father having instituted a series of actions against them at 
Gloucester. The cost of these protracted suits, and the having 
to attend at so distant a place, during which time their farm 
labor was neglected, for they worked with their own hands — 
all this had thrown them, for the first time, behindhand with 
their rent. And that now the squire threatened that unless the 
full sum was paid that week he would cause an execution to 
be raised upon their farm-stock and furniture, and that this 
would complete their ruin. 

The quarrel had begun by two trees in a storm having been 
blown down on their land ; they had drawn them out of the 
field, and had burnt some of the branches and small wood. 
The squire, happening to come that way, accused them of cut- 
ting down timber, which accusation they denied. He declared 
they had forfeited their lease, and that he would turn them ofiE 
his land, for he taxed them also, most unjustly, with having sold 
straw off the farm. He was so unreasonably enraged that he 
had vowed never to rent any of his land to them more ; and 
that he would drive them from the parish. Diggory Hogben 
complained to me how hard it was for them, especially for his 
father and mother, who were old, to leave hearth and home, to 
go and die among strangers. 

" 'Tis utterly monstrous, my honest friend," cried I, beside 
myself with indignation. " No, never shall you cease to be 
our tenants — no, never shall such an iniquitous deed be done if 
I can prevent it !" 

Diggory Hogben then reminded me that their farm called 
Grey stones was on my private estate, and that he counted upon 
me to say a word " to his worship." 

" Never fear !" cried I. " Tell Joan Hogben that she shall 
end her days at Greystones." 

" The Wicked Squire" was no fool. He had hard common- 
sense, determination, and perseverance ; despite his want of in- 
tellect, there was a vein of low cunning running through his 
character which served him instead of the higher and more 
delicate organization of soul and reason. Unscrupulous he 
certainly was, but he rarely undertook an evil deed in which 
he failed. He had a kind of animal instinct which gave him 



48 PRIMUS IN {NDI8. 

success in his undertakings, and was as useful to him as the 
reasoning of a far more intellectual nature. How different he 
was to any other member of our family ! That Ravensthorpe, 
who had raised the county to fight the Armada in the time of 
Queen Elizabeth, of whom it was said in an ancient ballad — 

" His men and tenants wailed the day, 
His kin and county cried ; 
Both old and young in the land may say 
Woe worth the day he died." 

In taking up the cudgels for the Hogbens, I in a vague way 
foresaw that I should grievously offend my father, and for my 
mother's sake I did not wish to quarrel with him. 

But no such scruple restrained me in Gerard Ravensthorpe's 
case.' Are there any vices so loathsome to* any honest man as 
ingratitude and treachery ? The father of evil is called the 
father of lies — eh, and of lying treachery too, I should think — 
he seeks to deceive and to betray. My blood boiled with rage 
to think that this fawning sycophant, fed by my hand, eating 
my bread, was, in the dark, trying to betray me and the cause. 
Good God ! I should have felt justified in murdering him ; 
and I swore that if he and I lived he should at all events meet 
me in fair fight. 

As I dismounted at ray own door I had two quarrels on my 
hands. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

A QUARREL. 

Ravensthorpe was an ancient manor-house of the time of 
Elizabeth, and it was very dear to me; but as I rode through 
the great avenue of ash-trees and dismounted at the front door, 
I was in no happy frame of mind. A servant who was waiting 
my arrival announced that the squire and her ladyship were in 
the pink room, and would see me. 

I found my mother at her tea-table, but I had barely entered 
when the squire bawled out — he was a great master of the art 
of vociferation — 

"How did yon fare? What pin-money did they ask for 
the lady ? You told them I hope that the estate could not 



**r 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 49 

bear a heavy settlement for younger children, and that the 
lady should have nothing more than the dower laws allow her. 
They will try and drive a hard bargain, but I'll be more than a 
match for them, d — n me if I won't. Mere city people ! 
Mushroom folk ! It is too great an honor for suph upstarts to 
marry into an ancient family like ours." 

But my mother, who saw from my countenance that some- 
thing had gone wrong, cried out — 

" You have not prospered, Nevill. I see it in your face." 

I said, with as much calmness as I could, that neither Mis- 
tress Orme nor I had any inclination for this alliance. 

" Look 'e, that's neither here nor there," said the squire, fly- 
ing into a violent rage. " Inclination be d — d ! I am aston- 
ished at your assurance. What are your inclinations to me? 
I am resolved on the matter. Inclinations, indeed ! 'Tis a 
match between two estates rather than between two people. 
Blood ! None of your out-of-the-fashion romantic nonsense for 
me. I have known couples who entirely disliked each other 
lead very comfortable, genteel lives ; you are enough to try the 
patience of the devil." , 

He flew off into a rage, and uttered many phrases improper 
to relate; but what distressed me more than his fury was to 
see the disappointment painted on my mother's face. 

The vexations of that day had not tended to put me into the 
best of tempers, and I was highly incensed at the treatment the 
Hogbens had received. The time was ill chosen to open this 
subject, but I disliked Mistress Orme's name being bandied about 
in the way it had been, the squire even calling her a hussy, 
so I launched into a quarrel which led to very serious results. 

" Know, sir," said I, " that I will not be treated any more as 
an overgrown schoolboy. How came you, sir, to turn my 
tenants off my land without my consent ? I am of age. Up- 
lands Farm is in my own hands, and, without even asking my 
leave, yon have ordered bailiffs into Hogben's house. Your 
conduct is censured by every one in this county, and even in 
the next, and be sure, once for all, that I will not connive at so 
base and barbarous an action." 

If the squire was enraged before, I thought he would then 
have had a fit, and he absolutely foamed at the mouth as he 
answered, 

4 



50 PRIMUS IN INDI&. 

" Rat me ! Marry come up ! so this is your dutiful conduct ! 
you chide me for taking the law of the Hogbens ! ' Od rabbit ! 
You are backing up these rogues against me, are you ? Then 
know you this, sir — as long as you retain one of that crew on 
your land you are no son of mine." 

"And know, sir, that, if it please you or not, they shall 
stay on my land." 

The squire had an attack of gout, which had not tended to 
sweeten his temper ; he became almost inarticulate with rage. 

" D — n me if they shall, that's all, that's all. D — n me if they 
shall ! Begone, you knave ! . Begone, you scoundrel ! Leave 
this house, and never let me see your face more. Thomas! John !" 
roared he to the footmen, who came running in, " turn him out 
of the doors. I will never give you a halfpenny, no, nor the 
twentieth part of a brass farthing. Leave the house imme- 
diately ; and see, Thomas, that his things are sent after him. 
Go ! Go this instant" 

I will not repeat all the angry and bitter things we said to 
each other, for I was as incensed as he was, and, under provo- 
cation, said things which filial respect might have better left 
unsaid. 

" I will go," I cried, " and never will I again put foot in 
a house which you have made a hell upon earth and a by- 
word in the whole county." 

" Nevill 1" cried my wretched mother, " you are mad — beside 
yourself." 

Hot and angry, as I left his room, in the corridor I stumbled 
upon Gerard, who had been attracted by the loud altercation 
and the bawling and roaring of the squire, which, indeed, could 
have been beard nearly all over the house. 

The sight of his misshapen figure recalled to me the baseness 
of his double-faced conduct. I drew my sword and called to 
him — 

" Draw and defend your worthless life." 

Gerard drew. He was well skilled in fencing, and he was 
even a more practised swordsman than myself. We made sev- 
eral passes, but my mother, hearing the clashing of swords and 
the outcries of the footmen, rushed in between us. Gerard 
was not at all anxious to fight, and at once moved as quickly 
as he could to a safe distance. 



i 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 51 

" Sir, you seem minded to murder me. If I have offended 
you I beg your pardon ; but I am not conscious of having put 
any affront upon you," said he. 

Then I told him roundly — 

" Thou shalt yet give me the satisfaction of a gentleman, for 
thou art a Hanoverian spy, a traitor, and a paid informer." 

At this Gerard's thin face turned an ashy hue. 

" It is false !" he cried. 

" You lie !" said I, " for I have found proofs of thy villany." 

"Gerard, leave us, I command you," cried my mother. 
" Nevill, I beseech you cease quarrelling." 

Gerard Ravensthorpe required no second invitation to flight ; 
he ran away through an open door nimbly enough. 

"Is he gone?" bawled the squire; and I heard by the noise 
on the polished floor of the stick by which he supported him- 
self on account of his gout that he was coming from his room. 

" Go !" cried my mother, " do not renew this disgraceful 
scene ; the less said the soonest mended." 

" Let him die ! starve ! rot ! he shall never have a farthing 
of mine. Gregory — John — you lazy knaves, turn him out. If 
it was not for my leg, Fd soon send him out. A fine piece of 
work, truly ! I hive brought up a son for a fine purpose ! A 
fine kettle of fish ! John ! do you hear ? Is he gone ? D — n 
you all !" 

"Yes, sir; yes, your honor," cried the man; "the young 
squire is a-going." 

" Rat me ! Is he gone — gone — gone, I say ?" 

" Go, my dearest," said my mother, finding my hat and kiss- 
ing me, " and come privately to night at dusk, by the back 
door, to my closet, for I have much to say to you. The squire 
is incensed just now, perhaps a few civil words will satisfy him 
some days hence." 

I walked about a mile to an ale-house, and stayed there all 
day, and there my body-servant brought my things. At dusk, 
through the woods to escape observation, I reached Ravens- 
thorpe, and noiselessly, like a thief, entered my mother's room. 

She looked so wan, ill, and heart-broken that I recalled the 
weird figure which had stood by my bedside years before. 

" Mother !" cried I, horror-struck at her appearance, " let me 
send for a doctor and an apothecary ; you are ill," 



52 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

" I have a pain in my heart," she said, placing her hand on 
her side. " Nevill, thou canst not understand all I fear. One 
terror in ray mind would be first, another would be first, all 
would be first. I shall lose my reason." 

" My dearest lady, be calm ; thy fears are all for me. I have 
arrived at man's estate, and can protect myself." 

" Yes, dear soul, I fear for thee, and thou knowest not all I 
fear. This marriage with this Mistress Orme would have given 
me so much joy, it would have been the making of thy fortune 
and thy happiness." 

"Thou might have guessed the lady refused my offer of 
marriage." 

" I thought as much — but why ?" The wild, strange look of 
fear and despair came over her face. 

"Did she suspect anything, think you ?" 

" What should she suspect," cried I, thinking really that trou- 
ble had clouded the lady's brain. 

" Suppose that she had heard you were neither as well-born 
nor as wealthy as it is commonly reputed, would that have 
caused her refusal of thy offer?" 

" Nonsense, madam !" cried I ; " she is a woman of sense ; 
if she had heard some such foolish story she would have treated 
it with the contempt it deserved. I know not Mistress Orme's 
history ; but, if I may be allowed to guess at what I know not, 
I think she loves and is beloved by some loyal and unfortunate 
gentleman." 

"If she has spurned thy love, never will she find a more 
honest, honorable, and loving heart, nor a man of finer presence 
than thine." 

" You are too partial, madam, to be a judge." 

" Gerard Ravensthorpe has escaped thee. He left last night 
most suddenly for France; thou canst offer him no fresh violence." 

" Gone 1" I exclaimed, " the coward ! But when we next 
meet I shall give him his choice of time, of place, and of weap- 
ons." 

" If thou shouldst be sent to thy account in pursuing him ?" 

" Then, madam, I should be killed in a just quarrel." 

" Why has Gerard gone to France, Nevill ? Why ?" asked 
the poor lady, with her wild, sad eyes fixed upon me. " If thou 
knewest all, my son ; but I wilj not tell thee neither ! If thou 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 53 

couldst only understand all I fear for thee ; but it is so dread- 
ful I dare not put it into words. Dearest son, thou hast ever 
been dutiful and loving to me ; I fear for thee." 

She walked backwards and forwards, wringing her hands 
like one distracted. 

" Fear naught for me t madam, I can defend myself." 

" Nay, poor youth ! thou canst not do so ; I am Jike one dis- 
traught; thought, grief, Confusion, come crowding so thick 
upon me. Oh, my poor head ! Nevill, should they succeed in 
their wicked plot against thee it will break my heart." 

" What plot ? Would' they indict me before the govern- 
ment as a malcontent ?" 

" Worse than that ! worse than that !" 

" I am weary of mysteries ; speak out, madam, let me hear 
the worst." 

" But I know not the worst ; it is this very mystery — this 
knowing of some certain but unknown evil — that haunts me 
night and day." 

Her mind is affected, thought I ; solitude, cruelty, and mis- 
ery have overturned the balance of a brain of the first order. 

" The squire said he would let thee * rot and die in the 
streets.' " 

" He cannot, mother ; the estate is entailed ; and, until I in- 
herit it, my own small land of Upland Tower is enough for my 
necessities. It is held independently of the squire." 

" Begone, dearest ! they are bringing him." 

We heard the sound of the four men-servants stumbling up- 
stairs, carrying the squire to bed in his usually nightly state of 
helpless inebriation. 

I left by the back-stairs and spent the night at the ale-house. 



CHAPTER IX. 



cynthia's history. 



The ale-house in which I had taken refuge was but a hedge- 
row inn, and the accommodation was very poor, but sumptuous 
compared to what I was afterwards to experience ; still that 
was of little moment compared with the uneasy thoughts which 



54 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

distracted my mind — my mother's illness, for she grew worse 
day by day, the loss of Mistress Orme, and the knowledge that 
I had been turned out of doors by the squire. I did not fore- 
see how this quarrel would be mended, for he was very vindic- 
tive, and could ill brook contradiction, and had especially re- 
sented being prevented from performing an unjust action. I 
gave myself *np to gloomy reflections, which quickly turned to 
joy on receiving this unexpected letter from the Lady Cynthia : 

*' Buckland Manor, June 14th, 1751. 

" Sir, — It is impossible to express what I have felt since I 
last saw you. Your submitting, on my account, to such cruel 
insults from your father lay me under an obligation I shall ever 
own. My father has been informed by Squire Ravensthorpe 
that I am the unfortunate cause of his resentment against you, 
and that nothing short of our marriage will reconcile him to you 
again. My father requests that you will honor us by remain- 
ing some weeks at our house ; and he will exert himself to 
bring about that reconciliation which we must all be anxious 
to effect. Your obedient servant, 

" Patience Orme." 

I accepted this invitation with extreme joy, and every day I 
became increasingly enamoured of my lady's rare beauty and 
still rarer qualities of heart and mind. 

Ah, Buckland Manor House ! I passed within thy walls the 
happiest unclouded days that man ever spent I had fallen 
wildly in love with the Lady Cynthia at first sight, and now 
that I was blessed with her daily companionship I found her 
the most beautiful, the most witty, and the gayest of mortals ; 
and I say this after forty years, that my lady was the best and 
sweetest of created beings. 

After leaving the hedgerow inn, and even after my own 
home, where, though we lived befitting our quality, still we lived 
with homeliness and thrift, I felt amazed at the lavish expendi- 
ture and magnificence of this newly erected house of Buckland 
Manor, or Buckland New House, as our Gloucestershire folk called 
it. The size of Giles Orme's house, the number of his horses, 
his retinue of servants, announced princely splendor. I doubt 
if his Grace of Portchester (who was not wealthy) ever tried to 
equal it. 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 55 

Young as I was, I seemed to discover that Giles Orme, having 
wealth (which men so much prize), was determined that the 
world should know how rich he was. He had perceived that 
people courted him for his money, and talked of his fortune ; 
and therefore he was minded to live in a manner that the coun- 
ty should say how wealthy he was. I believe Giles Orme was 
a true, honest, and just man, and he dearly loved his daughter ; 
still, his fault was a too great love of money, and a too great 
regard for the world's esteem. 

But Mistress Patty Orme, was she mercenary ? No ! a thou- 
sand times, no ! If God ever sent one of his angels in human 
flesh on this earth, that angel was my dearest lady. 

Mistress Patty, created beautiful, was always dressed in a style 
and splendor quite unknown, up to that time, in our county, 
for she obtained all her exquisite (outlandish, our Gloucester- 
shire folks called them) fashions from London, and even from 
Paris. What matter, though, what she wore ? She looked as 
lovely in a cambric dress as in a brocaded sack. She smiled 
and laughed, and said soft, kind words, dress her how you would. 
It was in her nature, as it is in the nature of all true men and 
women, to be unselfish and generous, to pity misfortune, and to 
hate what was vile and unjust. But what was peculiar to this 
sweetest and best of women was, that by some magic in her this 
world seemed brighter to all who approached her. The very 
serving-men and wenches waited upon her with alacrity and 
joy. A child, or a dog, or one old, or the poor and miserable, 
came to Mistress Orme with confidence. Go, cynic, and say 
such women exist not. Hast thou had no mother, sister, or one 
dearer, of whom thou wilt say, " Although all women are weak, 
foolish, ignorant, yet there was one ; yes, and that one resem- 
bled Mistress Orme." 

She was very gay, her laugh sounded like music, and she had 
a light, merry way of talking ; yet nevertheless she spoke kindly 
and generously of all. I loved her (as a man loves only once in 
his life. ) 

Yet Buckland New House to me was a strange and myste- 
rious place. The wealth, the splendor, the beauty of the house 
was evident, but still I felt I did not understand that new and 
charmed world in which I had entered. What was Cynthia's 
history? and how came Mr. Orme by his untold gold? 



56 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

Giles Orme spoke little, but his mind seemed to ran upon his 
ships laden with merchandise which were upon the seas. I 
soon discovered he was a Whig, and that he was most loyal to 
the present establishment, but he spoke little on any subject; 
politics were never discussed at his table. He had a passion 
for music, and every afternoon after his dinner his daughter 
would play the beautiful melodies of Mr. Haydn upon her spin- 
net, and then he would fall asleep. 

The day I arrived Mr. Orme treated me with great courtesy. 
" Sir," he said, bowing low to me, " I am happy and proud to 
welcome you as my future son-in-law." Madam Patty blushed, 
smiled, and did not contradict him. 

I had been at Buckland Manor but two days when one morn- 
ing Giles Orme said to me — he was apparently exceedingly 
angry— 

44 Sir, I had every wish to forward a marriage between my child 
and you, believing you to be a man of good position and large 
estates, and I hoped to advance my daughter's interests. Is it 
to be credited that your father, through his attorney, has given 
me what has been proved to be a false statement of his affairs ? 
Much of his land is heavily mortgaged, and this fact he has 
concealed. Does he take me for a child or a fool to be hood- 
winked? or that I shall allow my sweet girl to be cheated? 
Know, sir, that every farthing of Mistress Patty's money shall 
be settled upon her as tight as lawyers and the law can do it" 

I reasoned long and patiently with Mr. Orme, and I think 
I persuaded him that I was no supporter of my father's acts, 
and that I had no desire to possess Mistress Orme's fortune. 

" Sir, my daughter is partial to you — in fact, you are the first 
suitor whose advances she has ever listened to with patience; 
but I tell you that, unless your estate is as large and as unen- 
cumbered as I had supposed it to be, I shall withdraw my con- 
sent to this marriage." 

I was utterly dismayed at this threat; still, I soon recovered 
my spirits, because I knew our estate was large, and I also 
knew for certain that the mortgages were of no moment. I saw 
that Squire Orme must have been irritated, and greatly so, by 
finding my father (through his attorneys, Badge <fe Fudges, of 
Gloucester) was trying to gain some mean advantage over him 
in an underhand way. 



'* 



fc-'--y.;jf 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 57 



My mother was very ill. She wrote me long letters such as 
this, from which I feared her mind was wandering : " Come 
not here ; they seek thy ruin. Hasten thy marriage, sweet son, 
and leave this county, where thou hast been so cruelly wronged. 
Oh, Nevill, when I think of thy injuries I am distraught. 
Come not here. Oh ! base, black heart ! that would compass 
the disgrace of his own son." 

Her mind seemed unhinged, and her frenzy, of all others, was 
that she no longed wished to see me. 

Mistress Honor, my mother's maid, would give the most 
melancholy accounts of the poor lady's state. She was a pris- 
oner, locked in her apartments, well tended and served, but not 
allowed to go abroad, although, in fact, she was too ill to do so. 
Moreover, she sat and wept all day ; but what the special nature 
of her sorrow was none could guess, for she never spoke of it. 
Moreover, for hours she would walk up and down her chamber, 
wringing her hands. 

My mother forbade me coming to her, but Mistress Orme 
went nearly every day, and was welcome. I drove or rode with 
Mistress -Patty to Ravensthorpe, leaving her when she entered 
our park, and I waited at the ale-house until she came back. 

It was her gay young face, her tender sympathy, her cheering 
words, which alone seemed to revive hope in the wretched, dis- 
ordered mind of my poor mother. 

" Thou wilt love him and care for him when I am gone. 
Thou wilt be a true and loving wife to him," she would repeat 
over and over again. What conld sweet Lady Cynthia say? 
She could not reason with the crushed and wretched creature, 
whom she visited to console ; but she would say cheerfully — 

" Nay, dear madam, brood on no such melancholy thoughts ; 
when the spring weather comes you shall stay with us at Buck- 
land and see your son again." 

" But, nay, sweet Patty," she would answer, " I dare not look 
in Nevill's face, and I wish never to see the flowers of spring 
again." 

We thought that act of violence of the squire's in turning 
me from home, coming after her many years of loneliness and 
misery, had overturned her mind. 

" If thou wouldst marry my son, sweet madam, that is the 
only happiness I can hope for." 



68 PRIMUS IN INDIB. 

Mistress Orme would reply, " Madam, in the matter of my 
marriage I cannot disoblige ray father; when he sees fit to 
order my wedding, then I am ready to obey him." 

I had been at Buckland Manor two months, .but still I had 
not heard the Lady Cynthia's history. Once or twice I had 
pressed her to tell me. 

" Have patience, sir," she would answer ; then she would look 
so white and frightened that I regretted having asked her, and 
would most humbly beg her pardon. 

One afternoon we were walking in the great park, full of 
splendid trees, in which the manor-house stood. 

"Sweet Cynthia!" cried I, "you once promised that yoa 
would tell me your history. Do not think that idle curiosity 
prompts me to wish to discover what you would keep secret, 
but all that concerns you is dear to me." 

The lady then unfolded to me the following narrative : 

" My mother was a French lady of fortune, my father was a 
merchant of Bristol, and joined the East India Company of 
merchants. This obliged him to live in the East Indies ; during 
his absence my mother resided in Paris ; being a Romanist and a 
very religious woman, she lodged mostly in nunneries. My earliest 
recollections are of churches, cloisters, priests, and nuns. My 
mother's extreme piety and her serious surroundings gave a 
melancholy, or at least thoughtful, tinge to my childhood. I was 
educated by the nuns of the order of St Dominique, in Paris. 
They were a very wealthy order, and received only girls of noble 
birth. To that I laid no claim, but my mother's devotion, 
united to her large fortune, and the fact of my father being a 
foreigner, made them receive us, for my mother also lodged in 
their convent. My early companions were all the children of 
people of quality, and mostly people well known at the French 
court. In this way I acquired a habit of dressing with elegance, 
and of seeing and living in large and stately houses. My 
mother's time was so fully occupied with religious observances 
that for ordinary intercourse with the world she had neither 
time nor inclination. We lived, however, on terms of great 
intimacy with a Jacobite family of the name of Law, Scotch 
people, living in straitened circumstances, still a large, gay, and 
lively family, and their house was to me a home. My mother's 
health, never good, being in a critical condition, she married me, 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 59 

at the age of fifteen, to Archibald Law, whom I had known and 
loved all my life, and who was but nineteen. Archibald Law 
was the handsomest youth I have ever seen. He was tall, fair, 
noble-looking ; but if, sir, you had known how gentle, brave, 
loving, and God-fearing he was — how from childhood he had 
been to me as the best loved of brothers, you could then under- 
stand how much I loved him. His family are now, and were 
then, dear to me as blood relations. The never-to-be-forgotten 
year ' '45 ' arrived. My husband, Archibald Law, his father and 
his brothers, left Paris for Scotland, and took their part in the 
rising of that year. They shared in Prince Charles's triumphant 
march into England, they were with him at Manchester, and 
at the crowning triumph of Derby. Mrs. Law, my husband's 
mother, ventured to return to England, living in modest lodgings 
in London ; she expected to escape observation, and the better 
to avoid recognition they adopted my name of Orme, and I, as 
Patty Orme, passed as one of the numerous Law family. My 
fortune supported us all. When the prince was at Derby, and 
things looked so bright for the cause, we were wild with pleasure 
and excitement. When the Scotch army had to retreat, and 
this was followed by their total defeat at Culioden, we were 
thrown into the deepest despair, the more particularly as my 
husband was a prisoner in the hands of the Hanoverian. Now 
here the most singular part of my history commences. Archi- 
bald Law was marched down with a batch of prisoners from 
Manchester. He was confined in the Tower and was sentenced 
to death, but that sentence was never carried out ; though if he 
still lingers in prison, or if he has escaped, or where he is, I have 
never been able to discover, and I have never been able to find 
him. Alas, sir! the fate of my husband is seldom out of my 
thoughts. He is not dead, believe me ! Perhaps he lingers as 
a slave in the West Indies, or, worse still, languishes in some 
jail, or he is a beggar in some foreign land. 

The lady spoke with difficulty ; her countenance was turned 
from me, but I could see that it was with the greatest effort 
that she abstained from weeping. 

" To search for him, to help his friends, and the cause for 
which he suffered, since I have lost my beloved one, has been 
the only object for which I live." 

" And how, madam," said I, " is it that you know that your 



■ 

60 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

ill-fated husband has not, like many others, suffered the extreme 
penalty of the law ?" 

" Because," said Cynthia, " I have stood near the gallows at 
every execution of Jacobites ; I have looked into the faces of all 
who have suffered in London ; I have seen young and old pass 
me, and yet I never looked upon the countenance of the gay 
and brave youth from whom I was parted in Paris eight years 
ago." 

" Good God ! madam, how was it possible you had the nerve 
to stand so ghastly, so horrible, a spectacle ?" 

" Do yon think I did it for idle pleasure? No, but I thought 
that if Archibald Law passed that he would see me, and that 
he would know he was not forgotten, and that I should see him 
once more before he died." 

"Then you loved him so much?" 

"Yes, I loved him. No one in this world will ever be so 
dear to me again." 

" Now I come to a part of my history in which I fear I acted 
wrongly. My father arrived from the East Indies, and expressed 
the warmest displeasure at finding me living with Jacobites and 
Romanists, because he was by birth and breeding a Whig, and 
by creed a Dissenter. He removed me from the care of the Law 
family ; I returned to live with him, and his kindness to me soon 
won my heart, for we had met as strangers. 

" My father did not know I had been married to Archibald 
Law. The letter my mother had sent telling him of this had 
never reached him — the ship was lost The Laws, on their 
side, recommended me to silence, because, as the wife of a rebel, 
my fortune might have been seized, and I, acting, as I ever do, 
on impulse, was easily persuaded to think, because silence was 
expedient, it was right; and, having once adopted this line of 
conduct, every year makes explanation become more difficult. 
When my father arrived he had not even heard of my poor 
mother's death, as he had been a whole year at sea on his voy- 
age from India. As years passed, I never informed my father 
of this marriage. In my search for my husband (for I still seek 
him) I became useful to many of the unfortunate party. I had 
wealth, the command of my mother's fortune, and independence. 
Political motives I neither understand, nor do they greatly in- 
fluence me, at least not so strongly as a desire to help my has- 






PRIMUS IN INDI8. 61 

band's friends, or any who are in misfortune — such misfortune 
as his." 

The lady spoke here in the deepest agitation. 

" I heard an old French gentlewoman say, ' I show mercy to 
others that God may show mercy to me.' In helping some 
prisoners to escape ; in sending some father, brother, or son 
back to a home of loving hearts; ah, sir, who shall say but 
that God may yet show mercy to me, and send Archibald Law 
back to me !" 

The impression this relation made upon me may be imag- 
ined; but I was so intoxicated by my present happiness that 
I thought of no future. 

My mother's health improved. She was ranch consoled at 
my being so well received at Buckland Manor, though my 
father refused to see me, unless I turned the Hogbens out of 
their farm ; but I thought little of his resentment at the time, I 
was so happily absorbed in the society of Mistress Orme. I felt 
and knew that my love for her was returned, and I was ready 
to wait — to wait a hundred years — at her bidding, and that 
with patience. As for the luckless Archibald Law, if I thought 
of him at all, I considered it was exceedingly unlikely that he 
should ever return to disturb my peace; and I confidently 
awaited the day when I should conduct Mistress Patty to our 
parish church as my bride. 



CHAPTER X. 

UPLAND TOWER. 



The year 1752 opened very happily; my mother's peace 
of mind and her bodily health in some measure returned; 
although she still, in moments of depression, spoke of hidden 
and mysterious dangers, nevertheless Madam Ravensthorpe 
now gladly saw me. I however had to visit her secretly, as, 
although I had written several submissive letters to the squire, 
his wrath against me was not to be appeased. 

In January, 1752, I moved into my own house of Upland 
Tower. Both Mistress Orme and her father most hospitably 
pressed me to stay at Buckland Manor. I felt a delicacy in 



62 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

doing so. I knew that Mistress Orme could not marry me, 
and yet her father, my mother, and all the world persisted in 
considering us engaged. This placed me in a very false posi- 
tion. I determined to see my sweet lady almost every day, 
for I only seemed to live while I was with her. By occupying 
my own house I thought also that I could forward certain pri- 
vate business with greater ease and safety. 

Upland Tower was a small, ancient, and not over-convenient 
abode: high up in the mountains, it stood alone, far from 
other human habitations. From its windows {as it had once 
been a watch-tower) could be seen a magnificent prospect of 
wooded hills, and ranges upon ranges of blue and purple moun- 
tains. My mother sent there an establishment of servants, 
furniture, and all that her womanly knowledge imagined I 
might require. 

To Upland Tower came also many wagon-loads of heavy 
cases and barrels. These goods came from Buckland New 
Cross, and were drawn by Diggory Hogben's farm-horses and 
in his carts; they were said to be wine and barrels of beer. 
But Hogben did not fail to remark how heavy were the pack- 
ages and cases of claret I received from France, and also what 
a great quantity of wine I was storing in my cellars, for use 
in future years. 

" 'Tis strange," said he ; but then Diggory Hogben remarked 
philosophically that " the quality is always queer." 

My servants suspected it was not only claret and port which 
came, and it was in truth the arms and gunpowder I had 
promised the prince, when in London, to store away for him. 

These munitions of war were shipped from St. Malo, in 
Giles Orme's own ships, among other numerous articles, such 
as carved marble mantel-pieces from Italy, silk hangings from 
Paris, pictures from Rome, mirrors from Venice, and all those 
stately and splendid things Lady Cynthia, from living in Paris, 
had been accustomed to sec around her. Mistress Orme and 
her father were still decorating and furnishing their new resi- 
dence with equal taste and magnificence. 

We had been engaged for nearly a year, if engagement it 
could be called. My sweet lady and I had ridden over to 
Ravcnsthorpe and had returned to Buckland. Beautiful as 
Cynthia was at all times, I admired her most in her well^tting 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 63 

French riding-habit. The other ladies in onr county were 
inclined to think that a gentlewoman should not ride except 
upon a pillion, and Lady Betty Chester had told me long 
before how masculine she considered Mistress Orme's attire. 
Cynthia's hair was well curled and powdered, and hung to a 
considerable length upon her shoulders, and was tied by a scar- 
let ribbon. She had a coat and waistcoat of blue stuff trimmed 
with silver, with a petticoat of the same. She wore a little 
beaver hat, edged with silver, and which was made more 
sprightly by a feather. Her horse also was adorned with 
scarlet ribbons. We had ridden back to Buckland Manor, 
cantering over the soft turf of the wolds. When we reached 
Buckland, I recall that Cynthia's eyes were bright, and her 
face rosy with exercise; she was standing smiling and jesting 
at the hall-door ; when a special messenger from London rode 
up, all spattered with mud and travel-stained. He gave my 
lady a letter ; she read it, and turned so white that I thought 
she would have fallen into a swoon. 

" Read this, dear friend," she said to me. 

I read the letter; the news it contained was no less surpris- 
ing than that Archibald Law had returned, and was in London. 

I could not utter a word. This seemed to me my very death- 
warrant. I should be banished from Cynthia's presence for- 
ever! And yet I knew I was only happy while with her; 
and that without her I had no object or purpose in life. 

That missive was indeed extraordinary. Fate had preserved 
my rival through many misadventures. 

" God be thanked !" said my dear lady, witlj tears of joy in her 
eyes. " I knew he would return, my prayers have been answered." 

It appeared from the letter that seven years before, Archi- 
bald Law had effected his escape at Manchester from a gang 
of fifty Jacobite prisoners. The sentry, through whose negli- 
gence he had got away, had failed to report him missing for 
fear of being punished. On the same night another Jacobite 
prisoner having been added irregularly to his gang, he suc- 
ceeded in passing him off as Archibald Law. 

The true Archibald Law had barely escaped at Manchester 
when he was seized by the press-gang and put on board a 
king's ship. They sailed immediately to the Mediterranean, 
and he was unable to communicate his fate to any one. The 



14 PRIMUS IN INDIB. 

jloop in which he was, was shipwrecked, and he was cast on 
the shores of Barbary. There he was taken prisoner by the 
Moors, who made him a galley-slave. This frightful lot might 
have been his for life, but he was ransomed for a large sum by 
the philanthropy of a stranger, who, seeing him, pitied his 
youth and his misfortunes. 

He reached Spain, begged his way to Paris, found his family, 
who assisted him liberally. Without loss of time, outstripping 
every messenger, he had posted to England to find hjs wife. 

Law's communication concluded with a notice that he was 
delayed in London upon urgent business; its nature he could 
not divulge by letter. We concluded it was some secret ser- 
vice for the prince. Law wrote that when at liberty he would 
come immediately to Gloucestershire, and that he hoped to 
follow his letter in less than twelve hours. 

Those twelve hours were some of the most unpleasant mo- 
ments of my life. I felt it ungenerous to grudge that hapless 
man, who had suffered so long and so undeservedly, the joy of 
returning to a wife who had mourned him so faithfully, and 
yet in Mistress Cynthia's happy air and delighted smiles I 
found no pleasure. She told me she would wear a new gown 
and petticoat of flowered silver of her own work, Brussels lace 
head-dress and ruffles, her best diamond ring, diamond ear- 
rings, solitaire, and her diamond shoe-buckles. 

I felt angry and hurt. She seemed unconscious of my 
presence, so occupied was she in thinking of what lace and 
jewels, the richest and most becoming, she should wear to 
receive Law. 

For my part, I could not meet my successful rival. And 
yet I knew I was wrong. I mounted my horse. I rode at a 
furious pace over the turf of the wolds to my house of Up- 
lands. I resolved I would leave the kingdom, and go I cared 
not where, so that I would never look on the face of fair Lady 
Cynthia again. 

I wrote a distracted letter to my mother, telling her my 
intention, and that I would see her before I left I then 
ordered my servants to pack up my things. I was in the 
midst of a thousand preparations when a horseman, all muddy, 
and his horse all in a sweat, rode up with a letter from Buck- 
land Manor. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 65 

It was from my sweet lady, asking me to come to her at 
once. Law had been arrested and taken to the Tower. 

I rode over to her. I was ushered into her closet, and the 
Lady Cynthia threw herself into my arms, weeping bitterly. 



CHAPTER XL 

THE YEAR 1752. 



We next heard that, after Law had been kept in the Tower 
forty-eight hours, he was carried to where the Privy Council 
were sitting, and was accused of having returned on a political 
mission, but he asserted he had* returned to his native land on 
private business. The privy-councillors even stooped to prom- 
ises if the captive would make any revelations ; he refused, and, 
finding they could neither frighten nor cajole him, they said he 
must stand his trial. 

The news of his arrest had thrown Mistress Patty into the 
deepest dejection. I did all I could to cheer her; I pointed 
out that Law would probably be pardoned, for that he had 
played so obscure a part in the rising of " '45 " ; he had only 
been an ensign in Colonel Grant's regiment, and so long a time 
had elapsed that it was unlikely he would be treated with great 
severity. But my mistress refused all comfort. 

" My dear friend," she said, " I foresee his execution, and I 
shall have been the cause of his horrible death." 

We posted up to London. The merchant, observing the 
distracted condition of his daughter, and knowing the exquisite 
sensibility of her gentle heart, thought her suffering arose from 
pity for the fate of her youthful companion, as her tender 
affection for the Law family was well known to him. Mr. Giles 
Orme was a humane man, although a Whig, and he openly 
hoped the rebel would be recommended to his majesty King 
George's mercy. 

At ten o'clock in the morning of the 17th May, Archibald 
Law's trial began, at St. Margaret's Hill, Southwark. The Right 
Honorable the Chief-justice Lee, Sir Martin Wright, and other 
judges, after a trial of five hours, condemned him to death un- 
der the old attainder. 

5 



66 PRIMUS IN INDIA* 

* Mistress Orme, her father, and I were in the court while Sir 
William Lee pronounced his sentence. The prisoner, a tall, 
handsome man of about five-and^twenty years of age, was very 
genteelly dressed, but seemed wholly occupied in scanning his 
lady's beautiful face, instead of listening to the words Sir 
William pronounced with emphasis. The sentence was — 

"To return to the prison of the Tower from whence you 
came, from thence you must be drawn to the place of execution ; 
when you come there you must be hanged by the neck, but 
not till you are dead, for you must be cut down alive ; then your 
bowels must be taken out and burned before your face ; then 
your head must be severed from your body, and your body 
be divided into four quarters, and those must be at the king's 
disposal ; and God almighty be merciful to your soul." 

When Chief- justice Lee reached the declaration as to hang- 
ing he looked Law steadily in the face, and seemed, to me, to 
take a diabolical pleasure in uttering the words, " but not till 
you are dead"; and appeared even vexed at finding no signs 
that he had terrified his helpless victim. 

Archibald Law was carried back to the Tower. He had 
many to sympathize with him. The Jacobites in London, and 
even the court, and numerous Whigs, were full of pity for his 
fate. 

Notwithstanding, neither Mistress Orme nor any of his friends 
were permitted to see him, although some of his near relations 
obtained access to him. We still hoped for a reprieve. The 
next day Mistress Orme visited her Grace of Portchester, and, 
with her, went to St. James's Palace, to Leinster House, and to 
the new palace of Kensington. She obtained admittance to 
the Dowager Princess of Wales and the Princess Amelia, and, 
though they were very courteous to her (having been informed 
that the doomed prisoner was her lover), they regretted that 
the law must take its course. Still some word of a pardon had 
been dropped in some high quarter, and the Lady Cynthia 
clung to the hope that, even at the last minute, his majesty's 
messenger would bring a reprieve. I was surprised to see how 
confidently she clung to this idea, after the state of despair 
into which she had been thrown by Law's arrest. 

The 7th of June was the day fixed for Law to suffer the pen- 
alty of a cruel death. Mistress Patty dcolared her intention of 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 67 

attending the execution ; in vain I besought and implored her 
to avoid so heart-breaking a spectacle, which would, I felt sure, 
endanger her reason or her life. But she persisted : she vowed 
she would see Archibald Law pass for the last time. Finding my 
entreaties vain, I started with her, her father, and her maid in 
a hackney-coach. 

While our coach was making its way to Tyburn we fell in 
with a great mob of people of the lower sort, which prevented 
our equipage progressing. Just then we heard a loud shout 
and hurrah, which showed the prisoner was approaching along 
Marylebone Road. As from the concourse of people we could 
make no progress, I got out of the coach, thinking with two 
footmen to clear the way, but, instead of this, a rush of the 
multitude drifted me from the hackney-coach. I was carried 
away, quite powerless, by a mob which resembled a furious 
tide. It was totally impossible to go against that stream ; 
therefore I was forced, much against my will, to witness one of 
the most melancholy spectacles man ever beheld. 

Mistress Orme never saw Law pass. On hearing the fierce 
shout of the crowd, as he seemed likely to approach, she 
swooned, and remained in a fainting condition until she was 
driven back to her house. 

I, however, was forced, by the crowd, into a position near 
the scaffold, so that I could see the fire and the other horrible 
preparations. On reaching this place I saw that Archibald Law 
was dressed in regimentals, a blue coat turned up with red, with 
brass buttons, and he wore a tie-wig. He had been chained by 
the hangman to a hurdle on which he was drawn from the Tower 
to Tyburn. I heard that, before his leaving the Tower for his 
execution, the deputy - lieutenant, according to custom, cried 
" God bless King George !" to which the inflexible Mr. Law 
exclaimed " God bless King James !" 

There was an enormous concourse of people, who had stood 
for several hours in the rain, to see the end of this unhappy mr.n. 

Law behaved with great decency at the place of execution ; 
he made a statement to the sheriff that he had always been a 
member of the Church of Rome ; he then asked the sheriff to 
order it so that he might be quite dead before the burning 
took place. The latter promised he would see him dead before 
knife or fire touched him. 



* — ¥ *\ 



68 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

He was accompanied by a priest, the very Strickland I had 
seen with Prince Charles in Westminster. Their discourse 
continued nearly a quarter of an hour. He resigned his breath 
with the almost sacred words on his lips, "Dulce et decorum 
est pro patri& mori." 

The executioner pulled a cap out of his pocket, and, putting 
it on, drew it over his eyes, and he was then immediately turned 
off. When he had hung about three minutes, the soldiers 
pulled off his shoes, stockings, and breeches, and the execution- 
er soon deprived him of the rest of his clothing. Then, cutting 
him down, they severed his head from his body, took out his 
heart and entrails, and threw them into a large fire of fagots, 
which had been blazing and smoking in a high wind during the 
whole time of this ghastly ceremony. His limbs were scarred, 
but not severed from the body, his head was carried away and 
placed on Temple Bar. 

On the 9th June, at midnight, Mistress Orme, her father, and 
I, and a few Jacobites, saw his desecrated and headless corpse 
privately buried in Red Lion Fields near the Foundling Hos- 
pital close to Holborn, while, among his fellow - religionists, 
many prayers went up to heaven for his soul. 

The horrible death of one she loved threw Mistress Orme 
into an alarming state of health. She could neither eat nor 
sleep. She dressed herself in the deepest mourning, saw no 
company except myself, and she could speak of nothing but of 
this ghastly tragedy. 

The doctor recommended a journey to Bath to drink the 
waters. To that place I accompanied Mr. Orme and my sweet 
lady. They lived in the strictest retirement, avoiding all 
places of public amusement, and after some months Cynthia 
recovered her bodily strength and some serenity of mind. 



CHAPTER XIL 

RUINED, 1753. 

More than a year had passed since the appalling death of 
the hapless Law. All legal difficulties had been settled between 
Mr. Orme and Squire Ravensthorpe in the matter of settlements. 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 69 

t 

It had been arranged that Mistress Or me and I were to be 
married on the 14th September, 1753, at the parish church of 
Buckland New Cross. 

Cynthia had regained her ordinary health and, to a certain 
extent, her usual high spirits. We had travelled continually, 
and, after leaving Bath, we had visited both Tunbridge Wells 
and Harrogate; and my lady asserted that she had as much, 
benefited by my companionship and devotion as by change of 
air and scene. 

It had been decided that, after our wedding, we should take 
np our residence at the great new house of Buckland Manor. 
Mr. Giles Orme announced that he had received news from the 
East Indies which would oblige him to return for a time to 
look after his business in Bengal. It seemed to occasion him 
much gratification that his daughter should find a home of her 
own, and Jie seemed to be satisfied that I would study her hap- 
piness. 

I do not think Mr. Orme disliked me ; still he had no par- 
ticular friendship for me. The only human being for whom he 
entertained real affection was his daughter. The great object 
of his life was to make money. He was by nature taciturn, 
even to moroseness. At heart I despised Mr.Orme's inordinate 
love of wealth, and considered his ostentatiousness the result of 
a vulgar mind. 

Then I, myself, was of a character and temper with which 
he had no ideas in common. He could not enter into my love 
of letters, and the interest I took in all literature, ancient and 
modern. 

He would have looked with utter abhorrence on my Jacobite 
sentiments, had he suspected them. Still, as Giles Orme was 
not argumentative, and I had no desire to convert him to my 
way of thinking, we lived together on very good terms. 

It was on the 1st September, 1753 — ah, wretched day ! burned 
with red-hot iron into my soul. The bitterest, the most misera- 
ble day in my life ; on the fourteenth of that month I was to 
be married, but I was to find there is many a slip between the 
cup and the lip. 

On the evening before the 1st September, it was a Tuesday, 
I received a letter from my mother, saying that Gerard Ravens- 
thorpe had arrived from foreign parts, after eighteen months' 



f PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

absence. That she hoped I would avoid seeing him ; she added 
also that Joddrell had returned to. Middleton Hall ; and she 
then said that, considering how long a time had elapsed, she 
hoped I would not renew my quarrel with either of them. 
For my part I felt that my duty called me to demand satisfac- 
tion from them both. A private affront I could have forgiven, 
but, after the villainous treachery of their conduct to a cause I 
considered sacred, I felt that I could not live unless I avenged 
the wrong and insult they had offered to it, and also to my 
prince. 

On the morning of that hateful 1st of September I was 
seated at breakfast at Buckland Manor with Cynthia and Mr. 
Orme, when I was disturbed by a servant approaching and in- 
forming me that my father desired my presence at Raven s- 
thorpe. Anticipating no pleasure from the interview, I was 
still absolutely unprepared for its extraordinary purport. 

On arriving at my former home I found my father seated in 
the library. He was dressed in his brocaded morning-gown 
and crimson velvet cap. His table was covered with docu- 
ments relating to the estate, for this was his business-room. In 
front of him were some tattered and yellow papers. 

"Be seated," he said, " for I have a communication to make 
to you which may occupy some time. A change is impending . 
in your position and circumstances for which I am not respon- 
sible, and for which you must look to your own ill-fortune, 
perhaps to your own ill deserving." 

I took my seat and bowed. 

It at once occurred to me that Cynthia had suddenly discov- 
ered that I did not deserve so much sweetness, or else that 
something had happened to my beloved, or that her father, in 
some cross humor, had determined to forbid our union. 

My father commenced with some little hesitation in his 
manner, and an accession of color to his face. This had be 1 
come as crimson as his cap. 

" You must know," he said, " that after the ill-advised events 
of the year '15, in which, in my days of youth and folly, I took 
a prominent part, I was compelled to retire for safety to France. 
Before reaching that country, while hiding in the north of Eng- 
land, I became enamoured of, and wedded according to the rites 
of the Church, a young woman of gentle birth, but reduced cir- 



mmtjs iff indis. 71 

ctimstances. After I had escaped to France she followed me* 
and for a tinre we lived in the neighborhood of Versailles. She 
soon manifested a frivolity of disposition and the basest ingrati- 
tude ; although I was compelled to dwell in straightened cir- 
cumstances, I had bestowed upon her the good name of Ravens- 
tborpe, and she ought to have entertained gratitude for such an 
honor. I regret to state that she left me with a French officer, 
who took her to Marseilles. I was soon afterwards informed 
that she was dead. 

" The pardon for my political offences having been obtained, 
npon receiving the news of my father's decease I returned to 
England, and. married your mother. From papers which your 
cousin received from an old man, at whose death he was pres- 
ent, three months ago, it appears upon indisputable evidence 
that this first wife of mine only died a few years ago. She, 
therefore, was, in good sooth, Madam Ravensthorpe ; your moth- 
er's marriage is annulled, and you are nameless. I have sent 
a messenger with a missive to inform Mr. Orme of these facts ; 
for the union with his daughter was agreed to under the belief 
that you were the heir of the Ravensthorpe estates. With re- 
gard to your mother, my marriage with her shall take place as 
speedily as possible. With regard to yourself, I am unable to 
give you a name which may inherit my position. You may re- 
tain the name of Nevill Ravensthorpe, but you cannot be the 
heir of Ravensthorpe Hall. Gerard Ravensthorpe, your cousin, 
has now become the heir to my position, and, as the estates are 
requisite to the sustaining it in due dignity, they must ac- 
company it. But I will take care that an allowance be made 
to you sufficient for your support." 

At first I scarcely thought of my changed position in regard 
to its effect upon myself, but only in so far as it affected my 
relations with Cynthia. Feeling that I was deadly pale, but 
restraining all signs of emotion, I asked to be permitted to look 
at the papers. I found a letter, or sort of memoir, addressed 
to the squire, in which his wife upbraided him with his con- 
tinued cruelty, and stated that she had changed her name, and 
given out the report of her death, in order that she might be 
forever released from him. I found a brief memoir of her 
daily life, and instructions that, after her death, which seemed 
to have been unexpected at the time and to have happened sud- 



72 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

denly, a messenger should be found to convey the documents 
to the squire. Her death was also attested by the French au- 
thorities of Marseilles. 

Whatever might have been the cause, there was no doubt 
that I was the victim. I could not trust myself to speak. I 
put down the papers, bowed to the squire, cast one brief glance 
at his sneering, triumphant face, and departed from the room. 

I sought my mother's apartments, and, flinging myself upon 
a couch, I endeavored to think. For myself and the position 
and estates I cared not — that part of my soul which did not 
belong to Cynthia was Jacobite. If I had not been born in 
lawful wedlock it was by a cruel accident that it was so. If I 
now inherited no escutcheon, if I were no longer of good 
family, I could at least claim to be a gentleman, by education 
and by knowledge of arms. But Cynthia ! Even if, as I be- 
lieved, her constancy would be sacred, how could I now marry 
her with her fortune — I, without name, without inheritance. 
Fortune I could spare, but not Cynthia — and Cynthia seemed, 
lost. 

I could not believe that a catastrophe so peculiar, so unfore- 
seen, could have befallen me. My very reason seemed to reel 
at the blow ; I could not realize it. I repeated to myself, " It 
is not true — it cannot be true." It seemed a combination of 
events so unexpected, so terribly disastrous, that I felt power- 
less how to act, or even how to think. 

My mother's maid approached me. 

" Her ladyship would speak with you," she said. 

I entered my mother's bedroom ; she was standing in the. 
middle of it, alone, looking very pale, but sad and calm. 

" It is true, Nevill," she said quietly ; " this is what I have 
feared secretly for many, many years. My life was never a 
very sweet one, but the haunting dread of this disgrace has, 
more than all else, rendered my existence a wretched one. For 
myself what does it matter? What does anything matter? I 
am an old and dying woman ; but to see you, my handsome, 
good, and best of sons, disinherited, disgraced, and robbed of 
everything, is very bitter." 

My mother went on to explain that Gerard Ravensthorpe's 
father had first (soon after my birth) excited her fears. Ger- 
ard's father, Bernard Ravensthorpe, vowed he had seen the first 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 73 

Madam Ravensthorpe at Marseilles. He died suddenly, but be 
left papers explaining tbe matter to bis son ; because if I were 
proved illegitimate, then Gerard would be next of kin and heir 
at law. 

It appeared that the squire had given Gerard money to travel 
and to hunt up the matter. My mother had learned that this 
was his motive in travelling in France and in Italy. At first 
he was unsuccessful ; and then my mother had hoped nothing 
would be discovered, especially as time passed and he never re- 
turned ; but now he had arrived with the legal proof necessary 
to establish his claim, and I was disinherited. The worst had 
happened. I was surprised to see with what courage and forti- 
tude my mother bore this blow ; the more so when I recalled 
how the mere chance of such an evil had nearly killed her a 
year before. But what I thought of most was how these 
tidings would affect my position with Giles Orme and with 
Cynthia. 

" If only you had been married before it was known ; your 
wife's fortune would have been ample, and she is so truly de- 
voted to you that she would not have regretted it," cried my 
mother. 

" No, mother. If I am born to poverty and disgrace, I am 
thankful that sweet being has not linked herself to my misfor- 
tunes." 



CHAPTER Xm. 

ARRESTED. 

I mounted my horse and galloped over to Buckland Manor. 
When I arrived Mistress Orme received me in the Cedar Parlor. 
How well I remember that interview, for it was fated we should 
not see each other again for many years. I could have staked 
my life upon the fact that Cynthia would be as faithful in ad- 
versity as in prosperity. I recall her appearance at that, our 
last meeting. Her soft brown hair was drawn smoothly over a 
roll, her gown of figured cambric was short and disclosed her 
small feet in high-heeled shoes, her cap was ornamented with 
ribbons, and she wore a bunch of keys at her waist It was 



74 PRIMUS IN ItfDlQ. 

thus attired I remember Mistress Patty in all the many sad 
scenes which followed our terrible parting. 

Nothing could exceed her delicate kindness of manner, but 
I learned that Gerard had already formally proposed for her 
hand with the squire's sanction, and that Giles Orme had ac- 
cepted him as a suitor for his daughter. 

"But I have told my father," she said, "that love is too 
sacred a thing to be transferred from one suitor to another in 
this fashion. I told him that I was vowed to you, and that 
yours only could I be. If you had lost your inherited position 
I would wait until you had made a higher one by your tal- 
ents and your courage." 

" Madam," I answered, " I expected this high-souled con- 
duct from you, who are truth and honor itself." 

Mr. Giles Orme then entered the room. 

" Excuse me," said he, " for thus interrupting your interview 
with my daughter. Sir, that by unfortunate circumstances you 
have lost your wealth and rank is no fault of yours, and to a 
generous mind it would make you an object of pity ; and, on 
my soul, sir, I do pity you ! It is not on this ground that I 
must consider your engagement with Mistress Orme at an end, 
but I am credibly informed by your cousin, who is now heir 
of Ravensthorpe, that you are a rebel, and that you are en- 
gaged in treasonable correspondence with France. Know, sir, 
that I am a Whig, a loyal subject of King George, and there- 
fore I must consider your engagement to my daughter at an 
end ; therefore I have given orders to my servants, from this 
day, to forbid you my house." 

The Mistress Patty Orme stood by, pale but collected. 

" My sweet life," he said, turning to his daughter, "you 
must not defend him. We have been grossly and lamentably 
deceived in Mr. Nevill Raven sthorpe's real character. He is a 
dangerous and seditious malcontent, and will end on the gal* 
lows. I am your obedient servant, sir," said the old man, bow- 
ing to me, "and believe me sufficiently your well-wisher to 
advise you to leave the kingdom at once, because your trea- 
sonable practices are discovered, and will meet with their just 
punishment." 

" Father !" cried Mistress Patty, almost frantic with terror, 
and deadly pale, " has he been denounced ? This must be Ger- 

d's work ! He has informed against him !" 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 75 

" Get to London at once, sir, and thence to France. I will 
tell them to bring round your horse. Foolish lad to meddle 
with treason." 

" If it is true that I am in danger of arrest, Cynthia, madam, 
are you in no danger?" 

" Think not of me, but only of yourself," was my lady's an- 
swer. "Fly at once! If they discover the arms at Upland 
Tower, Nevill, you are undone 1" She became a little calmer, 
and she gave me the address of the Bull and Mouth Tavern, in 
Aldersgate Street, where she promised to communicate with 
me under the feigned name of Diggory Hogben. She then 
promised, most faithfully, to rejoin me either in London or 
Paris; and she begged me to start for town* without a min- 
ute's delay. 

We had even time, in those few happy minutes, to make 
plans for the future. We settled we would be married in Paris, 
and afterwards travel in France and Italy. As the brilliant 
prospect dawned upon me, I felt that Fate had more than made 
amends for the heavy blow she had struck me that morning, 
when I had found myself nameless and disinherited. We em- 
braced each other over and over again, and I at length tore 
myself, heart-broken, away. 

I was riding carelessly through the hamlet of Buckland New 
Cross. At the door of the Blue Boar Inn I saw some half- 
dozen red-coated troopers, lounging and smoking their pipes, 
with their arms piled. Directly they observed me the sergeant 
in command gave the word. They unpiled arms, mounted their 
horses, and drew up across the road. The sergeant came up 
to me, advancing his halberd, and said, " I arrest you in the 
king's name, high-treason ; here is my warrant." 

The evening was somewhat advanced, and the sergeant agreed 
to let me remain at my own house, of Uplands, for the night. 
He informed me soldiers were already in possession of it, with 
a warrant to search for arms, said to be hidden there, and I 
knew that the most damning proof of my guilt would be the 
munitions of war, if they were found to be hidden in my cellar. 

Among the villagers assembled at the Blue Boar Inn I saw 
Diggory Hogben, who, with frightened face, watched my arrest. 
I beckoned to him to come to me, and, on a leaf of my note- 
book, wrote a line in pencil warning Cynthia of what had be- 



► 



G PRMrs IX KD& 



fallen me; knowing that at Upland Tower there were papers 
I had mo>t incautiously kept, and which inculpated her and 

half the county. 

By the iccuiK*y of the sergeant I was permitted to despatch 
Hozten, and then we tamed towards my house. 

WhLe I was writing this note I perceived that two gentle- 
men were watching me from the window of the upper story of 
the inn : one of thc-se was Gerard Ravensthorpe, the other Jod- 
dreil. The former bowed mockingly to me, and I could see 
his pale countenance bore an expression of fiendish pleasure 
and sneering triumph. I had now little doubt from what quar- 
ter the sudden blow of my arrest had come. Ah, honor has 
little chance in this world against plotting craft Gerard had 
taken all the steps for my defeat, while I, poor simpleton ! had 
onlv been thinking of calling him out. 

The rooks were cawing in the old trees of my avenue ; and 
the sun was setting as I reached Uplands. I never loved that 
ancient house so well as at that minute when I was to leave it 
so soon forever. 

The consternation of my servants was not to be described 
when they saw me and my red-coated protectors arrive; my 
butler, Thomas Green, burst into tears, the footmen were dis- 
tracted, the servant-wenches mostly screamed or fainted, and 
my dogs barked furiously, while old Hogben and some men 
working in a field shook their pitchforks at the intruders in im- 
potent anger. 

I was told that I might ride up to London at a foot's pace 
guarded by soldiers, and that I might put together a certain 
amount of baggage, which could accompany us upon a pack- 
horse. I was escorted by the sergeant to my bedchamber. He 
observed that the mull ions of the windows left no space for a 
man's body to pass between. 

I asked if I might be permitted to write to my father and 
others. I was told I might write what I wished, and if it 
pleased the sergeant after he had read it, it should be de- 
spatched, otherwise it would be destroyed. I pictured to my- 
self a love-letter to my dear Cynthia submitted to the scrutiny 
of this boor; or the tender words with which I should break 
this misfortune to my dear mother being scanned by this illit- 
erate rascal, therefore I put off my idea of writing. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 77 

The sergeant, bidding me good-night, left me, after placing a 
sentry outside the door — which he locked, and put the key in 
his pocket. Another soldier paced up and down in front of 
the house under my window. I was left to that state of soli- 
tude and reflection which was to form so great a part of my 
life, and which is the normal existence of a prisoner. 

I was three-and-twenty, I should never see my lady again, and 
— judging from the vindictiveness with which Law had lately 
been treated — my immediate future was the ignominy of the 
gallows. Death was no king of terrors to me, even with the 
ghastly surroundings which had accompanied Law's end. I 
pictured that Cynthia would again occupy her place in the 
court, and that I might perish with those same words Law had 
spoken, " It is sweet to die for one*s country." 

I paced up and down my room. If I had only liberty — that 
liberty enjoyed by the poorest hind on my land — had I been 
free but for one quarter of an hour — sooner than meet their 
irony of justice, their court, their bloody execution, I would lay 
a slow match to those hundred-weights of gunpowder lying in 
my cellar, and send myself, Hanoverian troopers, sergeants, one 
and all, into eternity, and thus I should rob my enemies of their 
devilish triumph over me. 

The night was dark as pitch, and the rain now pattered 
against the casements, while the wind howled dismally among 
the turrets, angles, bay-windows, and tall chimneys of the old 
house. It was precisely the sort of night to favor my escape, 
but here was I, in a situation which seemed hopeless. Then I 
bethought me, and I examined the window again. The ser- 
geant had compared the dimensions of the spaces between the 
mullions with his own burly figure rather than with my slim 
one. Where my head could go my body could follow. With 
my diamond ring I could cut the little panes, and I might per- 
chance be free ; but the steady tread of the sentry beneath the 
window showed that means of escape was impossible. 

I sat with my head resting on my hands, and above the 
tempest I heard a heavy, dull, hammering sound, as if carpen- 
tering were going on in my house. This was soon followed by 
noisy bursts of merriment, and loud, rough laughter. I con- 
cluded King George's soldiers were drinking his majesty's 
health with my beer. I feared also they were opening those 



78 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

m 

cases of arms, which I knew would place me beyond the pale 
of Hanoverian mercy. 

I heard voices speaking in low whispers at my door long af- 
ter midnight. I got up and listened. The door opened sud- 
denly, and my old butler and Diggory Hogben entered. 

"The redcoats are dead drunk — or drinking — your honor 
has not a minute to lose. Your horse stands saddled in the 
stable-yard." 

I required no second invitation. I stumbled over the recum- 
bent form of the sentry, unconscious from drinking, but who 
muttered an oath upon my disturbing him. 

I reached the outer air, the wind and rain blew cold in my 
face. 

" Diggory," said I, " you have ever been a good friend to me. 
Will you do me one more service ?" 

" I would live and die for your honor," said he. 

"You must get my serving men and maids out of the Tow- 
er, and even get those drunken Hanoverian wretches away if 
you can, before I leave. I must blow up this house before I 

go." 

".Better leave at once, your honor," cried Diggory, "you 
will be discovered ;" but I was not to be persuaded by these re- 
monstrances. Blowing up the Tower would hide all trace of 
my guilt, destroy all that compromising correspondence, and do 
more good to various members of our party than I could cal- 
culate. 

Upland Tower having in part been built five hundred years 
before, and said to be of Norman origin, had, like most other 
ancient houses, a labyrinth of vaults and passages below ground, 
and these, in modern times, had been used as cellars. 

These subterranean hiding-places were, I was well aware, ab- 
solutely crammed with cases of sabres, muskets, pistols, ammu- 
nition, and, lastly, of gunpowder sufficient to provide a small 
army. 

Through the buttery-hatch I gained the cellars without be- 
ing observed. The Hanoverians assisted me greatly, for they 
had forced open several powder-barrels, and thrown their con- 
tents all over the floor. I carefully placed a slow match, light- 
ed it from a candle, and then with all speed hurried above 
ground. 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 79 

"There is not one minute to lose, Diggory," cried I; "pull 
the women out of their beds, warn the sergeant if you can, 
take those topers out of doors, for in ten minutes there will be 
hardly a vestige of my manor-house left, and I would save 
what lives I can." 

I reflected, rather bitterly, that this small arsenal was the 
property of Charles Edward. It had been collected, at how 
great an expense, and also with how much hope ! Now both 
our pains and our money would be lost to the cause. I have 
been much blamed for this act, but were I placed in the same 
position I would do it again. If it were a reckless sacrifice of 
human life, Heaven knows I received severe punishment enough 
for it. I admit it was a desperate act of retaliation ; still, I 
hoped to remove, and did remove, all compromising traces of 
arms, and of papers which I had most incautiously kept, and 
which, if discovered, would have brought many Jacobites to the 
gallows, besides myself. 

I grasped Diggory's hand, mounted my horse, and bade him 
farewell. 

Three of my household, including my groom, escaped with 
me through the wood ; we had barely time to reach some high 
ground which overlooked the house, we were much less than a 
quarter of a mile away, when below us, with a deafening noise, 
a clear sheet of light and fire rushed straight up to the heavens. 
This told me that the magazine bad exploded, and that my 
house was in ruins. 

I felt strangely glad and exultant. I had not died like a rat 
in a hole, without gaining some revenge upon my blood- 
thirsty enemies, and upon the all-powerful and detested Hano- 
verians. 

To mortal man revenge is sweet, and I thought of Gerard 
Ravensthorpe and Joddrell's triumphant faces as they watched 
me taken away, a prisoner, from the hamlet of Buckland New 
Cross* I had at least wiped out some old scores. 



80 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 



CHAPTER XIV, 

A FUGITIVE. 

I had determined to make for London, where I trusted that 
I should find some Alsatia of refuge. But I did not take the 
direct road by Moreton-in-the-Marsh to Oxford. I turned my 
horse's head to the old Roman road that ran straight across 
the wolds to Bourton-on-the- Water. What a ride that was ! 

Again the rain-clouds had gathered over. In the mists and 
drenching rain the upland wolds were black, but the narrow 
old road dimly showed its gray track. On I galloped in a 
whirlwind of conflicting passions, to which the howling gusts 
and sharp rain afforded a most apt accompaniment. I turned 
in my saddle and looked back ; the sky was red with a distant 
conflagration. I suspected that Upland Tower was blazing. I 
rode quietly into the quaint village of Bourton, and rested for 
a while on jthe bridge over its little river, into which the rain 
pattered furiously. 

Not a creature seemed stirring in the village. Continuing 
my course, I passed on till I reached the valley of the Thames, 
rode through Abingdon, and finally drew rein at Henley. The 
clouds had passed, and the enchanting sunshine of a bright 
morning after the storm had dried my drenched apparel, and 
made the world seem hopeful. 

At Henley I halted at one of the best inns, and ordered my 
tired horse to be taken to the stables. Mine host looked at 
me as if he entertained some suspicion that I was a knight of 
the road ; for my general appearance showed distinct signs of 
a bard ride in the heavy downpour. But I quieted his suspi- 
cions by remarking that I had been compelled to start early in 
the rain, in order to reach London in time for an appoint- 
ment. 

I refreshed myself after my wild night — not daring to think 
upon persons and events — with a good breakfast of brawn, and 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 81 

a big pike from forth the Thames. I drank a flask of mine 
host's best claret ; and, deeming myself safe from pursuit here, 
I passed the morning in meditation. 

In money I owned but a few crowns. However, I possessed 
a diamond ring, and, under a light riding-coat I was wearing, 
my best velvet gold-embroidered suit ; and I had heavy gold 
buckles to my shoes, having ridden in gaiters. So with a val- 
uable watcb, and a French enamelled snuff-box, set with small 
diamonds, I had enough wealth upon my person to obviate the 
dread of immediate want. I had also a little gold-framed min- 
iature of Cynthia, but with that I did not intend to part. 

I determined to sell my valuables in London, exchange my 
rich suit for a plain one, adopt a brown bob-wig to disguise 
me, and then take the first ship which I could procure for 
France. 

I was familiar with the country between Ravensthorpe and 
London, and I decided to ride on to Windsor in the afternoon, 
and from thence walk to London, leaving my horse in payment 
of my bill, as my slender stock of money would be probably 
nearly exhausted. 

I entered Windsor towards evening. As I contemplated the 
noble towers and walls of the castle, palace, and fortress, since 
William the Norman made it his abode, it seemed to me dese- 
crated by the Hanoverian who now occasionally inhabited it. 
I inned at the best house, the Star and Garter, and at an early 
hour I fell asleep in the enchanting luxury of a bed, after a 
night and great part of a day spent in the saddle. Next morn- 
ing, after a hearty breakfast, I took a last look at the royal 
fortress, and walked on towards Brentford; leaving, with sin- 
cere regret, my noble steed to be bail for me at mine inn. 
Again the rain-clouds had come over. I walked on, dejected 
and humiliated, now that I was tramping in the mud instead 
of bounding along upon a thoroughbred horse. I could not 
help cowering with shame as the gilded coach and six of my 
lord, or stage- wagon, or horseman passed me. My gold-laced 
hat and fine overcoat gave me an appearance above the usual 
class compelled to go afoot, and I was stared at disagreeably by 
wayfarers of all classes. However, the rain and mud speedily 
combined to render me sufficiently draggle-tailed to avoid no- 
tice. As I continued on the highway across Hounslow Heath 

6 



82 PRIMUS IN IKDI8. 

the evil reputation of the place occurred to me in conjunction 
with my valuables. I had, however, taken the precaution to 
transfer my pistols from the holsters to my pockets, so that I 
was well armed. But I need have felt no apprehension. If 1 
had met a highwayman he would never have supposed that 
the bemired wretch, with a hedge-stake in his hand, pressing on 
through the mud, had a diamond-adorned snuff-box in his 
pocket. 

I had intended to walk on to London, but the heavy showers 
and gusts which I had encountered across Hounslow Heath, 
combined with the unaccustomed exercise of walking, had so 
wearied me, that, when I reached Brentford, I determined to 
put up at some small hostelry, where the crown which was left 
me would be sufficient for my entertainment for the night. 

The burly host of a small inn looked at me suspiciously when 
he saw that beneath the mud which plastered me, for I had en- 
dured many a splash from passing coach or horseman, I had 
fine apparel ; so I told him that my horse had fallen lame at 
Windsor, and that I had only enough money to walk on to 
London, where I had an appointment. I then showed him my 
crown-piece, and drank to his health in a tankard of ale, which 
I demanded, and he forthwith became exceedingly civil. After 
an excellent supper I managed to forget my troubles before a 
bright fire, in company with some yokels and a groom or two, 
who looked in to take a mug of ale and a pipe. The novelty 
of the situation rather amused me, and I applauded some rustic 
ditties with which two of them favored the company ; and I 
slept soundly in a clean though coarse bed. 

My score still left the greater part of my crown to me, and 
I walked on gayly to London the next morning in bright sun- 
shine, and amidst a prodigious number of chariots, coaches, 
stage-coaches, and wagons, horsemen, and occasional horse- 
women, and other dames on nillions behind their cavaliers. 

As the immensity of the population in approaching London 
became clearly impressed upon my comprehension ; and as I 
observed their elaboration in dress, and their carelessness in de- 
meanor, I saw the vanity of the Jacobite dreams, which had 
once seemed so promising; because it was well known that, 
though the country gentlemen were all for the White Cockade, 
London, great and powerful, was altogether Whig. On reach*. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 83 

ing town also, it forcibly occurred to me that I might encoun- 
ter some emissary despatched in haste from Gloucestershire to 
retake me. Stepping aside from the little hamlet of Turnham 
Green, I tied up my face with my handkerchief as if I had 
been hurt thereon, and slouching my hat at the same time ; but 
I still had to endure the annoyance of being stared at. Passing 
through the little town of Kensington, and past the avenues of 
the red-brick Hanoverian palace of Kensington, I gazed with 
delight over the palings of Hyde Park at an occasional herd of 
deer, reminding me of the inhabitants of the glades of Ravens- 
thorpe; my mother, Cynthia, the joys of home, then came to 
my recollection with irresistible force, and the pangs of pro- 
found regret at leaving them brought tears into my eyes. 

At length I found myself in the familiar district of St. 
James's, and I now took the precaution to leave Piccadilly, and 
plunge, as soon as possible, into the narrow streets leading to- 
wards Soho Square. Turning into an ale-house, I called for a 
tankard, and took, with a feeling of intense luxury and freedom, 
my seat upon a coarse bench, where I proceeded to reflect. 

Here I was in London, and, so far, safe. What were to be 
my plans? 

I knew enough about the town not to be caught in the hands 
of any of its sharpers or bullies ; and I knew where I should 
be likely to find a Jew to exchange my remains of former con- 
sequence for some money and plain attire. 

It was a desperate effort which brought me within a Jew 
dealer's in second-hand finery of all sorts. And of course he 
effected with me about the very best bargain which he ever 
made in his life. He quite "humiliated me by enlarging on tho 
small n ess of the diamonds which garnished my snuff-box. He 
pronounced my buckles to be silver-gilt, and affirmed that the 
lace on my coat was tarnished. However, I procured a few 
gold pieces and some silver crowns, with a pinchbeck watch in 
place of my golden one. I also obtained a suit of brown 
homespun instead of my velvet, with copper buckles, and a 
brown wig, of unfashionable dimensions, to come well over 
my forehead and ears. He smiled upon me with the extrem- 
est cordiality as I emerged, feeling utterly ashamed and dis- 
gusted. 

But when I had taken a lodging in an obscure street, paying 



84 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

the landlady in advance, as I had only the very small valise I 
had bought of the Jew, by way of baggage, I recovered my 
spirits. 



CHAPTER XV. 

IN LONDON. ! 

For a week I led a strange life ; I wandered abont the mean- 
er streets, scarcely able to realize my situation. The beauty 
and charms of Cynthia, the sweet face of my mother, and all 
the happy memories of Buckland Manor, were continually pres- 
ent, with a sense of constant and painful regret; still I had 
hope ; for, as I had written, I knew I should (as we had ar- 
ranged) have news from my lady. The bustle of the streets 
also, the articles in the shop windows, somewhat distracted my 
attention, and prevented melancholy from preying upon my 
mind. The concern which chiefly tortured me was the con- 
sideration of the suffering th'ey would endure in their ignorance 
of my fate. 

That briSf spell of imprisonment, when, for a moment, escape 
seemed hopeless, had entered into my soul. The risk of cap- 
ture, and perhaps, at the best, imprisonment in the Tower dur- 
ing his Hanoverian majesty's pleasure, was vividly present to 
my mind ; therefore I thanked God I was free, and I hoped to 
remain so. 

I looked into Soho Square and thought of the days when I 
went in a coach to the public breakfasts and promenades of 
Ranelagh, or in a chair to the boxes of Covent Garden. I re- 
membered delightful excursions in gilded barges on the river, 
to the music of hautboys and French horns. Then there were 
expeditions to Ludgate Hill or the New Exchange, to tumble 
over the mercers' wares, or to view some Indian or China 
trifle. How different my London of the past to the pres- 
ent ! 

One day I took up the Evening Post in an obscure choco- 
late-house, and read an advertisement for my own apprehension. 
But as I was described in velvet and lace, and as wearing my 
own hair, my first natural consternation did not long distress 
me. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 85 

I had considerable difficulty in resisting the pleasures of the 
town, and, one day, reading a placard which informed the no- 
bility and gentry that the fields on the way to Marylebone Gar- 
dens were well patrolled at night to avert all danger from foot- 
pads, I felt somewhat disposed to adopt that profession myself, 
or, better still, to take to the road. Ah ! if I had only had 
my dear old mare in my possession, I am not sure whether the 
temptation would not have been too strong, because my slen- 
der stock of coin was rapidly ebbing. 

But the end of my London life speedily came. One day I 
had walked towards Islington, and I was tempted to enter the 
Sadler's Wells garden and theatre. 

Here was music and promenading, and eating and drinking 
in arbors. The fat citizens — as they certainly mostly were — 
and their wives and pretty daughters, and smart prentices, were 
diverting to contemplate, and I forgot my troubles and my 
Cynthia for a time. Finding that a burletta was to be per- 
formed which promised amusement, with disregard of my al- 
tered condition in life I marched into the best seats, into the 
boxes. Here half a crown was demanded for admission, and 
for three shillings a pint of port, Lisbon, or mountain wine, 
was, given in addition. I called for a pint of Lisbon, and was 
proceeding to enjoy myself, when I was suddenly humiliated by 
observing that a stout, showily dressed woman, and two plump, 
gayly dressed girls, were regarding me with looks of consider- 
able disfavor. They were staring at my unfashionable wig, 
my suit of brown homespun, and my copper buckles ; and, 
moreover, instead of an amber-headed cane, I had only a stout 
oaken stick. 

" What himpudence !" the stout lady said, talking apparent* 
ly at me, though not actually addressing me, " for a fellow like 
that to hin trade into the best box seats and horder his wine, as 
if beer or gin wasn't good enough for the likes of 'im." 

The daughters looked at me, scornfully raising their already 
somewhat elevated noses, and one who was next to me moved 
her big brocaded skirts a little, so that they might not come in 
contact with my plebeian apparel. A smart young citizen was 
escorting them, who, at first sight, might have been taken for 
a gentleman. They all looked at him as if for protection. He 
was in light blue with silver lace, and he had a sword by his 



86 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

side. And here was evidently the opportunity of displaying 
his pretensions and winning the approbation of the fair. The 
curtain had not yet risen. The theatre was rapidly filling, and 
there were no places for these four to sit together, in a good 
position, except in the seats adjoining mine. As they evident- 
ly thought that I, in my homespun, might be mistaken for one 
in their company, they were disgusted at my presence. The 
young man crossed to me with a swagger and said : 

u Hexcuse me, sir, but these are the dress boxes, and I think 
you must have got in 'ere by mistake, instead of the pit or gal- 
lery." 

"Confound your impudence!" I replied; "but for creat- 
ing a disturbance in the theatre, I would throw you over the 
boxes into the pit instead of going thither myself." 

" Would you, hindeed ? I'd like to see you do it," said the 
youth, feeling that his credit was now at stake, and that the 
ladies would utterly despise him if he didn't show fight ; and, 
forgetting that he had an unaccustomed sword at his side, he 
tucked up his sleeves and prepared for fisticuffs. 

I had lost my temper entirely, and being very capable of us- 
ing my fists, as well as my hand and wrist for small sword, I 
was about to join issue. But one of the girls cried out, " Don't 
take to your vulgar fistisses, 'Enry ; draw your sword, and run 
him through the body." 

Thus admonished, he rather falteringly drew the weapon, 
and made as though he would have lunged at me; whereupon 
I crossed it with my stick, with a slight feint, which he at- 
tempted to parry awkwardly, and then by a well-known fenc- 
ing trick I sent his sword whirling out of his hand into the 
pit, where it luckily lighted on the very bushy wig of a stout 
citizen, and did no harm to anybody. Of course a crowd 
pressed towards us. The box-keepers of the theatre hurried 
up, and, after a deal of expostulation and excited complaints on 
the part of the fair citizens, I was hustled away by about a 
dozen servants of the theatre and others, and was ordered to 
leave the gardens, under pain of being taken to the round- 
house, and brought before the magistrate the next morning. 

I stalked proudly out of the gardens, hot, angry, and excited, 
disposed to attack the whole force of the place, but my stick 
had been wrested out of my hand. My coat was torn, and, in 



PRIMUS IN 1NDU8. 8*1 

the confusion, my watch and purse with the remnant of my 
money had gone. 

I demanded to see the proprietor, and told him what had oc- 
curred, and how scurvily I had been treated ; and I will do him the 
justice to say that he sympathized with me, returned the half- 
crown which I had paid for the box seat, ordered a search to 
be made for my purse and pinchbeck watch without avail — 
some pickpocket having apparently secured them — and I left 
the gardens without property beyond the half-crown. As I 
owed for some days' lodging, I dared not return for the few 
articles there belonging to me. I, erstwhile heir to Ravens- 
thorpe, betrothed to a beautiful and wealthy damsel, was an 
outcast, in a ragged coat, with but one solitary coin in my 
pocket. 

Still, my spirits retained their buoyancy. I was consoled by 
reflecting that I was at all events free, and not in prison as a 
Jacobite, I triumphed in having, I believed, obliterated all 
trace of " my seditious practices," as they styled it, and this, not 
for myself only, but for many others who might have suffered 
in the cause ; and then Cynthia loved me, and, with her long 
experience of the shifts and straits of conspirators and outlaws, 
I doubted not that she would quickly communicate with me 
at the Bull and Mouth Inn in Aldersgate. I determined to 
stroll towards Smithfield and the City, and found the air of the 
fields was fresh and agreeable. 

Before I reached the streets I was attracted by the old gate- 
way, the remnant of the convent of the Knights Hospitallers of 
St. John. I was intending to make Tower Hill, but I turned 
aside, distracted from my melancholy and my vague and bitter 
feelings by the aspect of the old gate. Its architecture recalled 
to my mind Ravensthorpe, and its sweet and sad memories. I 
scarcely dared to think of my mother, and her anguish at my 
unknown fate. 

Suddenly I came upon a small military party, consisting of a 
sergeant, a drummer, and a piper. My heart sank within me ; 
here were soldiers who might be searching for me. I soon saw 
however, from the gay ribbons which floated from his hat, that 
the sergeant was recruiting. The piper and drummer struck up 
the Grenadiers' March, and the party marched on through the 
old Tudor gateway to Clerkenwell Green, which lay beyond. 



68 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

Here a small crowd of idle young fellows had been collected by 
the drum and fife. 

The sergeant, who was a sprightly-looking soldier, with a de- 
cided touch of the Irish brogue in his voice, proceeded to ad- 
dress them, or I may say us, for I had followed, though I still 
scowled at the Hanoverian soldiery. 

"If any prentices have severe masters," said the sergeant* 
" if any children have undutif ul parents, if any servants have 
too little wages, or any husband too much wife, let them repair 
to the noble Sergeant Flynn at the sign of the Bull and Mouth 
in Aldersgate Street, and they shall receive present relief and 
entertainment Gentlemen, I don't beat my drums here to 
ensnare any man, for you must know, gentlemen, that I am a 
man of honor — and it's no ordinary service that I would enlist 
ye for — I'm asking ye to enlist in the gallant Colonel Adler- 
cron's regiment, under orders for the East Indies, where the 
silver pagodas grow upon trees, and diamonds and pearls are 
just to be had for the picking up, as ye walk about the streets." 

I was startled here by the deep, harsh roar of many voices, 
the sound of a crowd hooting in anger. The cause of their 
wrath soon appeared : first a few gay dragoons trotted past 
me, then quickly followed a chariot drawn by four horses, then 
more dragoons guarding the equipage behind. But what most 
surprised me, and made my very heart stop beating with terror, 
was to recognize one of the Buckland Manor House coaches with 
the Orme arms on its panels. Who could be in it? Could 
they have taken Cynthia? When I had recovered sufficient 
calmness to speak, I asked a bystander if he had seen who was 
in the carriage. 

" Why, no, sir. 'Tis a rebel they are taking to the Tower, 
and, for my part, I hope they will hang the rascal." 



CHAPTER XVI. 



THE KING'S SHILLING. 



With an agony of anxiety in my heart I hastened on for 
letters to the Bull and Mouth Inn at Aldersgate. I asked on 
arriving if there was aught for Diggory Hogben, the name I 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 89 

had assumed. Three letters were given to me. I opened with 
feverish haste the one addressed to me in the adored writing 
of my dearest lady. She wrote : 

" Sept. 8th, 1763. 
" My dearest Life, — I am truly glad you are, so far, safe 
in London, but how can I tell you how heart-broken and dis- 
tracted I am. My dear father is a prisoner ! Oh, Nevill, if 
words of mine could tell you what I feel, for this evil is of my 
making. My kindest, most generous, and liberal of parents is 
undone — and by me. I know he is innocent; he has ever* 
been most loyal to the present establishment, and yet, by my 
action in using his vessels to import arms, he appears most 
guilty ; and through many other deeds of mine (besides this 
matter of arms), he may be called to account. He has been 
conveyed prisoner to London. I am distracted by grief and 
remorse, and but for the kind sympathy of your mother, and 
the sensible advice and consolation of your cousin Gerard, I 
think I should go mad. I feel my whole life has been a cheat 
and deceit upon the kindest-hearted and most simple of men. 
Oh, Nevill, should my father's gray head take the place at 
Temple Bar of one we knew, I should never survive. To that 
one I was loyal and true, but to my father how false I have 
been ! I must tell you, much as I loved you, and still love 
you, that all is over between us, because in this frightful turn 
of affairs I have promised Gerard Ravensthorpe, should he be 
able to gain my father's pardon and liberty, that for so great a 
service I should think no reward too great — even to the sacri- 
fice of my whole existence and happiness. My father's life and 
honor must be saved at whatever cost, and it seems that Gerard 
has great influence with the present ministry. 

" Your affectionate friend and servant, 

"Patience Orme. 

" P.S. — Send no more to me. I fear you may be discovered, 
for I am closely watched, and I would not be the cause of 
further misfortunes to you." 

On reading this letter I felt like one stunned. I felt only 
anger against this weak, false, and fickle woman. I did not—- 
I could not — make sufficient allowances for her desperate posi- 



90 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

tion ; I only knew she had abandoned me to wed my rival^the 
man I most hated and despised on earth. 
My next letter was as follows : 

"Sept. 8th, 1753. 

" Mr honored Sir, — I am very sensibly affected in writing 
you such ill news. Her ladyship, your mother, is dead ; which 
melancholy tidings I look as my humble duty to send you. 
Her death has afflicted the whole parish as well as her poor 
servants, for we all loved her, I may say better than our lives. 

" Indeed, we were once in great hopes of her recovery — when 
Mistress Orme arrived — but this only proved a lightening before 
her death. As we most of us are grown gray-headed in our 
dear lady's service, she has left us pensions and legacies which we 
may live very comfortably upon the remaining part of our 
days. 

"Her ladyship made a very good end, the last word she 
spoke being about your honor. * Tell my sweet son — my dear- 
est life — ' 

" She is to be buried, according to her own wish, among her 
family in Northamptonshire. * 

" Her death, on the 6th September, was the melancholiest 
day for her servants and the poor that ever happened in Glou- 
cestershire. 

" This being from, my honored sir, 

" Your most sorrowful servant, Thomas Green." 

She was dead. My kind, sweetest mother ; the best friend 

— the only friend I had in the world. 

The third letter ran : 

" Sept 8th, 1753. 

" My honored Sir, — The chief occasion of troubling your 
honor now is not my own griefs only, although they are very 
great Firstly, they thought your worship had been killed 
also, which God in his mercy prevented. That pert jackanapes, 
Timothy Slim, the innkeeper at Bourton, reported to Sir Sam- 
uel Huske, Knight, justice of the quorum, that as how your 
honor lay at an inn on the 2d, and that, to his knowledge, 
you went to town ; therefore they are searching for you in 
London with sad threatenings, saying they are resolved to have 
your honor's heart's blood. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 91 

" Your manor-house was burned to the ground, eight of the 
redcoats were slain, but your servants all escaped — as your 
honor ordered. Moreover, none of your property was preserved, 
saving such as mayhap was at Raven sthorpe. 

"Your honor's father and cousin and several justices have 
ridden over to learn as how the mischief happened. Mistress 
Molly Bigge, your housekeeper, witnessed, and all the servant 
wenches and men swore, that the soldiers set fire to the house 
in this wise: The redcoats piled up so great a many logs of 
dry wood on the hall fire, that the housekeeper said, ' Sergeant, 
they will burn the house down ;' on which he answered, * D — n 
your body and eyes.' Says she, 1 1 can run away from fire as 
quick as you can, sergeant' Then he launched forth a volley 
of oaths, mixed with language not proper to be repeated, curs- 
ing her, and threw on more wood. 

" The sweet Mistress Orme came also, but wept when she 
saw the black walls. Squire Orme has been took to London, 
but they say he will be tried at the assizes, for the justices will 
have it that he hired some villain to burn down your house. 
" Your honor's most humble servant, 

"DlGGORY HOGBEN." 

I wandered that night in the open fields by Paddington with 
an unspeakable anguish in my soul, which I can never in my 
lifetime feel again. There was a great storm, the rain fell in 
torrents, and I saw the dark outline of the hedgerow trees by 
the vivid flashes of lightning. 

" Good God !" I cried, " have I lived to lose all in life !" I 
thought of suicide ; for who has ever suffered deeply, or been 
wronged by those he most loved, without thinking of the rash 
remedy of despair. " Was I any party to the bargain," reas- 
oned I, " when the curse of existence — the curse of an existence 
such as this — was put upon me ?" What had I left to live for I 
I had nothing to love me, not even a dog. I was useless to 
the Jacobite cause, or any cause ; outlawed, penniless, friend- 
less. In the loss of my mother there was no bitterness ; I had 
nothing for which to reproach myself, I had ever been dutiful 
to her; but to Cynthia my feelings had turned nearly to ha- 
tred ; while against my father and Gerard Ravensthorpe I felt a 
deep and stern longing for revenge. Though a fugitive and 



-* V 



92 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

single-handed I would still live to outwit them ; they should 

never have the satisfaction of seeing me behind prison bars 

or on a scaffold, or even know that they had nearly driven me 

to despair and suicide. 

The next day I wandered aimlessly in the country, dined at 

the village of Islington, and then decided upon a line of action, 

and returned to London. I' wrote a letter and despatched it at 

the post-office in Lombard Street ; it was addressed to Mistress 

Orme. 

"Sept. 16th, 1763. 

"Madam, — Since you are minded to marry Mr. Gerard 
Ravensthorpe, I wish you joy of your choice. This friend of 
the ministry is no informer, but a man of honor, fit to wed a 
woman of virtue. 

Your obedient servant, Nevill Ravensthorpe." 



u 



Between the cost of the supper and the postage I had con- 
siderably reduced my coin, and I was almost penniless. I in- 
quired for the noble Sergeant Flynn ; I found him in a back 
room with three bold recruits. 

As soon as the sergeant had become acquainted with my bus- 
iness, he became exceedingly cordial. 

" Faith," he said, " you're a fine young fellow ; you'll be a 
creditable addition to Colonel Adlercron's brave boys. Sit 
down, will ye, on the bench ; take a pull at the pot, and a cut 
at the bread and bacon. It's not always in a soldier's life that 
there is victuals and drink on the board, or, for the matter of 
that, a board to take it on ; but then there's the gay times when 
you feast on the best of the land, and ogle the prettiest women. 
Faith ! if I suffered some hardships in the campaigns in the 
Low Countries and on the Rhine, and if I was laid low by a 
bad wound at Dettingen, haven't I had more than consolation 
in the honor and glory since, and the smiles of the women? 
Faith ! they stick to the redcoats." 

The sergeant's words prevailed. I had taken the king's shil- 
ling and had enlisted. A change seemed coming over my 
ideas. Loyalty to England appeared to be prevailing over loy- 
alty to my king. Immersed as I had been in the ardent hopes 
of political disaffection, and rejoicing in having been in the 
actuaj presence of the prince, I had scarcely bestowed a thought 



PRIMUS IN INDIB. 93 

upon the campaigns on the Continent between 1743 and 1748. 
In fact, as the British had only formed a contingent in an 
army of Hanoverians and Hessians, I had scarcely regarded the 
war as English; but now that I was in the company of one 
who had, as I presently found, served about ten years previous- 
ly in the great battles of Dettingen and Fontenoy, I began to 
find a pure military ardor coming over me. 

I eagerly inquired concerning the sergeant's experiences, and, 
nothing loath, he called for another pot, lighted a short clay 
pipe, and gave us confused accounts of incidents in battles, 
which generally terminated in some affair with a pretty Flem- 
ish or comely German wench. Finally, the solitary candle hav- 
ing burned out, he conducted us recruits to our bedchambers. 
These, or rather this, consisted of a dry loft over stables, at 
the back of the inn. There was sufficient hay in it to furnish 
comfortable beds, and, with an eccentric mingling of elation at 
the prospect of adventure, regrets at lost love, and sensation of 
humiliation at my position, mingled with the glowing youth- 
ful impulses at the charm of novelty, I fell asleep in a snug 
corner of sweet hay. 

My comrades had dropped into the arms of Morpheus even 
sooner than myself. A serving-man, cast off, probably, with- 
out a character' — a civil young ne'er-do-well, who had taken 
from necessity to the profession of arms — and a pedler whose 
business had failed him — were my ex-honor's sleeping compan- 
ions. 

The sergeant, as an old soldier, had doubtless secured better 
quarters for himself. 



CHAPTER XVH. 

IN BARRACKS. 

Colonel Adlercron's, the 39th, Regiment of British In- 
fantry lay at Cork, preparatory to embarking for Madras ; the 
first royal regiment which had been despatched to the East 
Indies. 

When the excitement at enlisting and finding myself in such 
novel circumstances had abated, I realized the misery of my 



94 PRIMUS IN I5DIS. 

situation. Without money, without comforts of any kind, I 
had nothing to do but idle away the day in the neighborhood 
of the Bull and Mouth Inn, or accompany the sergeant, with 
ribbons in my hat, when he marched with drum and fife to 
Camberwell Green or elsewhere, to entice adventurous youth to 
carry arms in the East. The manners and general surround- 
ings of those in whose company I was thrown inspired me with 
the deepest disgust; and the only alleviation was that I had 
made good friends with the sergeant, who constituted me a 
kind of corporal of his little band of recruits. 

We had all been duly taken before the commissioned officer 
superintending the recruiting, and attested as soldiers. That 
officer had been pleased to observe that I was a smart young 
fellow, a compliment which, at the same time, flattered and 
humiliated me. Sergeant Flynn speedily noticed that I had re- 
ceived a different education to the rest of his recruits, and I told 
him a story about my father's losing his money by unfortunate 
speculations in the west of England, and that I had changed 
my name for the nonce. Abominable as I considered my pres- 
ent condition, it was preferable to the prison from which I had 
escaped ; I only desired most earnestly to be out of London, 
and on the high seas. 

My motherland Cynthia! these ever and anon returned to my 
reflections, and then for a time my misery would almost o'er- 
master me, but with the elasticity of youth I became presently 
almost gay again. And as I maintained my position as the 
sergeant's leading recruit by administering a decided beating to 
a ruffianly fellow who had endeavored to bully me, I was com-, 
paratively well situated. And I must confess that our homely 
meals of simple meat and bread-and-cheese, with mugs of beer, 
were relished by me with considerably more gusto than the 
banquets of these late years. Hunger prevailed over considera- 
tions of eating off bare boards, and thirst imparted to small 
beer the finest flavor. 

Sergeant Flynn promised that I should soon exchange the 
musket for the dignity of the sergeant's halberd, when I joined 
the regiment ; and I concluded to make the best of inevitable 
circumstances. 

Happily for me, recruits came in sufficiently fast. The batches 
collected by Sergeant Flynn and others were in about a week 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 95 

ordered to be embarked on a vessel in the Thames, to sail for 
Cork. The idea of the sea, with its freedom, its freshness, made 
my spirits buoyant as its waves. But I speedily found there 
was not much freedom or freshness of air in a great part of the 
sea-life of a batch of recruits. We were stuffed down into the 
hold of our small vessel for the first portion of the voyage, with 
the hatches battened down, as the weather became stormy. The 
darkness, the stench of the low, hot space between decks are in- 
describable. I was not so ill as the majority of my companions, 
though this was my first voyage ; still, for a time I should have 
esteemed it as a favor if anybody had thrown me overboard. 
However, the weather improved, and we were allowed on deck 
to assist the sailors in hauling at the ropes, the undermanned 
crew having been much exhausted by two days of severe weather. 
In the Thames we had been sent below, to be out of the way. 
At length, however, as we ran along the coast, I obtained some 
enjoyment from the sea. The wind was well on the brig's 
quarter. The old vessel was dashing the spray up from her 
weather bow, and, beyond the curling, green, foam-crested waves, 
were the white cliffs and green uplands, the last I should see of 
my native country. 

Having made -myself useful in assisting the sailors, and partly 
owing to the sergeant doing what he could for me, I found my- 
self allowed to remain on deck. 

We disembarked at Cork, and my haughty spirit had suffi- 
cient discretion to make the best of the discipline of a barrack. 
During the two months which elapsed before we embarked for 
India I underwent the trials and humiliations incidental to the 
state of all recruits, but especially felt by myself, who had as- 
spired to charge, en cavalier, like a second Rupert, in the cause 
of the Stuart king. 

I was drilled to the marching, and I learned, among awkward 
rustics, who continually kept myself and others back, the nu- 
merous motions of the manual and platoon exercises. I was duly 
habited in a red coat with green facings, and the skirts doubled 
back to a button in the centre, a red waistcoat and breeches, 
high white gaiters, buff belts, and a hat with a white binding. I 
found that between shaving, powdering and greasing my head, 
and cleaning my accoutrements, I had little time to think in other 
than the desultory mood which might accompany these opera- 



06 primus nr indib. 

tions. But Sergeant Flynn had still befriended me. He had 
suid a good word for me to the captain of my company. The 
captain had taken pains to investigate my qualities, and I found 
myself rapidly advanced from drilled-recruit to the rank of cor- 
poral ; and thence, before we embarked, to sergeant. With a 
sword at my side instead of a bayonet, and a crimson sash, I 
again conceived myself a gentleman, and I shouldered my hal- 
berd, in exchange for the musket, with enormous satisfaction, and 
began to imagine that a general's commission, and revenge upon 
Gerard, wore within the actual range of mental vision. 

The life of the regiment was so full of action that I could 
not think long or consecutively. Visions of the grand and 
picturesque sedateness of Ravensthorpe, of my sweet mother, 
of my ever-adored Cynthia, and of the many respected depend- 
ents of the house, would come into my mind ; when the cheery 
roll of the drums, and lively accompaniment of the fifes, would 
again arouse me to immediate action. But I seemed to be in a 
dream, I seemed to be another self to the Nevill Ravensthorpe 
of Ravensthorpe. 

I was not altogether free from apprehension that my identity 
might be discovered, and that I might have to exchange the 
barrack for a prison. Drills, and the many occupations of a 
menial nature necessary in the private soldier's life, appeared 
agreeable, by comparison, to such a fate. 

As a sergeant I almost seemed to return again to the posi- 
tion of a gentleman, for I had to command as well as to obey. 
And the commissioned officers, with their half-pike and gold 
lace, were also subject to discipline. 

The soldiers, taken together, were a fine, honest set of men, 
though somewhat too much disposed to drink whenever they 
found opportunity. I had managed to keep on good terms 
with the men of my company. 

The barracks at Cork are built on the top of a great hill. 
One evening when I was on duty, placing sentries at their posts 
outside the great mass of white buildings, a man addressed 
me. 

" Your honor, I would have a word with you," he said. 

" Begone !" I cried, knowing it was a breach of orders to 
speak while on duty. 

" I have a letter from the lady, my dear sir." 



A 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 97 

" Silence ! Diggory," I cried. " I may not speak to you 



now." 



He stood irresolute and perplexed. The night was so dark 
that it was more by his tall, broad figure, clad in byown home- 
spun, and even still more by his familiar Gloucestershire ac- 
cent, that I recognized my foster brother. 

" Good Diggory," I said, " begone ! but I will meet you anon 
at the sign of the Pelican and Trumpet." 

That night I reached the tavern, the resort of many men of 
my regiment. I entered the low-roofed, oak-panelled room ; 
each table was separated from its neighbor by a high parti- 
tion, the floor was cleanly sanded, and the atmosphere was dense 
with tobacco smoke. At a table sat my tenant's son ; he rose 
and uncovered himself with an air of respect to which I had 
long been a stranger. 

" Honored sir," he began, but I placed my fingers upon my 
lips as a warning, for I perceived that many soldiers of my regi- 
ment were present and might hear him. 

I was astonished that he had undertaken so long and perilous 
a journey. 

£ Where is the letter f ' asked I. 

He placed a thick document, addressed in the much-loved 
and familiar writing of Cynthia, in my hand. 

I could hardly open it from the conflicting feelings which 
tore my soul. I saw it was a long letter, so I determined to 
read it at a more private place. 

" My honest friend, right glad I am to see you. How made 
you the voyage ?" said I. 

He explained that he had come by a French brig from Bristol. 

" The sweet Mistress Orme," said Diggory, " thought that a 
special messenger would be the only safe way to send to you. 
Here are your honor's rents " — the worthy fellow took a large 
bag of money out of his capacious pocket — and also he said, 
lowering his voice, "-Your valet has packed all your wardrobe, 
and your butler sent much other property from Ravensthorpe. 
It is all on board the French brig Mistress Orme has chartered 
to convey you to France, and the brig is lying in the offing." 

I was surprised, but began to reflect sadly that, having taken 
the king's shilling, to sail away without leave would be con- 
sidered the serious military crime of desertion, and that to buy 

7 



* "■.-*-;- -~*mr 



98 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

my discharge might be difficult, and at a few hoars' notice quite 
impossible. 

"The French brig sails to-night, the captain cannot stop an- 
other day, and he is to meet your honor here directly, to make 
final arrangements for your journey." 

Soon after a stout, dark man in the dress of a sailor entered ; 
he wore earrings in his ears. I recognized him at once as the 
sailor Cynthia had fetched from Lambeth. The sight of him 
awoke all the sad memories of happier days. 

In rather broken English the Frenchman told me that if I 
were in readiness he had a boat and crew waiting for me at a 
short distance from the harbor, and that he would take me on 
board. The temptation being strong, I elected to desert from 
Colonel Adlercron's regiment. Just as we had settled this, all 
the soldiers in the tavern sprang to their feet, for ringing 
through the air came the well-known bugle sounds of " the 
company call," and then " the assembly." We knew we were 
summoned back to barracks for some emergency. The men 
rushed into the street, and, as I was obliged to accompany them, 
my chance of escape was gone. 

I thought it the greatest mischance then, but since I am sat- 
isfied it was to my advantage. 

When we reached the barracks all was in the bustle of prep- 
aration, the men packing their knapsacks, and rolling up their 
greatcoats. In an hour two companies were marching along 
the road to quell a bread riot at the townlet of Ballcryst, and I 
was in my place alongside my company. We were absent three 
days. When I returned I went to the Pelican and Trumpet, 
but there was no sign of Diggory Hogben. I went down to 
the harbor and scanned the shipping in the offing — there was 
no trace of the French brig. I heard some disquieting news 
when I made inquiries of some fishermen on the wharf. They 
said that a stranger in a brown suit — a strong-built fellow — had 
been taken overnight by the press-gang.- That, being burly 
and active, he fought hard with his captors, but, in spite of his 
struggles, he had been put in a boat and taken out to sea. 

If it were not for my dear lady's letter I should have fancied 
the whole thing a dream, for I was still a sergeant in King 
George's service. 

Mistress Patty Orme wrote as follows: 



PRIMUS IN IKDIS. 99 

" December 10th, 1753. 

"My dearest Life, — By your last letter I saw you are be- 
yond measure angered with me. My dear Nevill, let not bitter 
feeling estrange our hearts, and rob us of that love which alone 
makes the consolation of our lives. Seas and lands may di- 
vide us, fate may be adverse, but let us not be separated in 
spirit — which is the greatest separation of all. Believe me, 
dear Nevill, that your love is more to me than all else in life, 
and without it I am the most heart-broken of women. 

"By inquiries I have made, I discovered that you had en- 
listed as a private in Adlcrcrotfs regiment, as a means of hid- 
ing for a time. This was the wisest step you could have taken, 
for your enemies, in hunting for you, will hardly expect to find 
you in the service of King George. 

" I have arranged with Captain Surcouff of St. Malo — who, in 
his brig, the Dontelle, has already managed the rescue of many 
Royalists — to land you at St. Malo ; from which place you 
must post to Paris, where the Law family will receive you. 
Law of Lauriston, who is well thought of at the French court, 
will obtain you a commission in the King of France's service. 
When my father is released I will come to you. 

" For myself, I am still with my father, who is a prisoner in 
the Tower. I sleep outside ; still I am permitted to live with 
him and dine with him. This sad duty of attending him I 
most gladly perform, knowing that he is innocent, while I 
alone am the cause of his imprisonment. 

" Gerard Ravensthorpe is my humble servant. I know for 
certain now that he caused your arrest, considering that if you 
were effectually removed he might have a fair opportunity of 
ingratiating himself with my father and me. 

" Think no ill of me, dear love, that I dissemble with him. 
At the time when my father was arrested I was like one dis- 
traught. Gerard tuned his arguments with so much wit to my 
distracted mind, that, in a fit of foolish impulse (I ever act 
without sufficient thought), I agreed to all — to anything he 
had to say — but, now that I have become calmer, never will I 
marry this abandoned man ; for from my heart I despise him 
and his ways, and when I think of the wrong he has done you 
I hate him beyond measure. 

" Forgive me and still love me ; this is all I ask of you. 

Rnnnon 



.y^r 



100 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

" My father has now a high opinion of Gerard, and for cer- 
tain he is a man of parts. Your cousin is well received at St. 
James's, and is known to all the Whig men of quality, to many 
leading lawyers, doctors, men of letters, and divines, to say noth- 
ing of scores of men and women of fashion ; therefore he 
brings us daily the news of the town ; this cheers my father, 
and he hopes, besides, through Gerard's powerful friends, to 
interest influential people in his trial, which is still pending. 

" Gerard, your cousin, having succeeded in making so many 
friends in this city, believes that, now you are out of the way, 
he will be able to fltevail with me ! Being much admired by 
a Whig duchess, he considers himself not incapable of captivat- 
ing the fair sex, notwithstanding the deformities of his figure. 
His dress is now exceedingly handsome, and his countenance, 
indeed (putting out of consideration the thin lips and cynical 
smile), is not ill-favored. His forehead, nose, and chin, are 
classical in their outline, and he is able to regard himself in the 
mirror, as he frequently does, as a very pretty fellow. 

" I can never forget you, dear Nevill, you who have every 
virtue, and are the handsomest and noblest man I have ever 
met. But, dear friend, until my father is free, I cannot wound 
him by a word of unfilial opposition. 

" The house of Ravensthorpe is now Whig, for your father 
kissed hands at the last Birthday. 

" Your affectionate friend and obedient servant, 

"Patience Ormk." 

It was at this time that I began to' suspect I was being 
watched by an informer. A long-visaged man in,a brownish 
black coat and very dirty shirt appeared daily at the Pelican 
and Trumpet Tavern. Mr. Boothe, for so he was called, came 
from London, and some said he was a bailiff. His only occu- 
pation seemed to be to read the newspapers, and he used to 
dictate to his hearers with great authority on the news of the 
day. Although I avoided him and answered surlily, still he 
would ask my opinion with much politeness, and would wish 
to take a glass with me, always drinking to my health ; yet I 
had great reason to believe this genteelest gentleman wished to 
assist me to the gallows. 




/ 



PRIMUS IN INDIS, 101 



CHAPTER XVm. 

THE SEA, 1754. 

The order to sail arrived. It might have given me extreme 
pleasure to receive it, as, once on shipboard, I should be be- 
yond the machinations of my cousin Gerard, Mr. Boothe, and 
people of his kidney ; but then one thing kept my whole heart 
in England, and that was love for the Lady Cynthia. On the 
7th January, 1754, I marched down to the place of embarka- 
tion with my company. It was with a sad heart 1 mounted 
the ship's ladder, because I had not received a second letter 
from Mistress Or me, and what was even more melancholy was 
the reflection that 1 could not now hear again from her for 
more than one whole year. And a year's silence to a lover 
seemed an eternity. 

That voyage appears ta me now as a dream. Our ship was 
one of seven sail ; as it was a time of peace, we did not require 
a convoy, and we were sufficiently armed to defend ourselves 
against pirates. 

I will not enter into the particulars of that voyage ; we suf- 
fered from the usual storms and calms. At the equator the 
ship continued for weeks with flapping sails, and favorable winds 
seemed forever departed. Then a violent storm drove us into 
the harbor of Bahia da Todos Santos. We remained there for 
several weeks for repairs and to take in fresh provisions ; and 
while there I was often allowed to land. Of that remote conn- 
try I retain vivid recollections, especially of the churches and 
convents, and of those fair nuns we were allowed to speak with 
through the gratings of their nunneries. 

At length, after being at sea a year, we landed at Madras. 
How well I remember our canoe, or native boat, plunging 
through the boiling surf, loaded with a division of my compa- 
ny. On landing, I stood leaning on my halberd awaiting the 
command to fall in, and, as I viewed the strange buildings, the 



-ir~vr** 



102 PRIMUS IN INDI& 

delicious green masses of foliage, the crowd of black men, I re- 
flected that, though I had landed there a humble sergeant, yet 
in this new land 1 would find either a grave or a 'fortune, and, 
if fate were propitious, 1 would make for myself a name 
worthy of Cynthia. And that even if she proved false to me 
(but that was impossible), still she should say : " There was 
something in that man Nevill Ravensthorpe, whose heart I tri- 
fled with, broke, and then threw away, which was not unworthy 
of my regard." 

At Madras, in 1755, 1 was much surprised to hear the name 
of Law of Lauriston, and that coupled with many ill words, 
continually on the lips of my comrades. I knew that he was 
an officer in the French service, and now it appeared that in 
India he was Captain-General of the King of France's forces. 

I had long ago discovered that Adlercron's regiment was not 
content with beating the French in battle, but they must needs 
scold at them in peace. ' 

At Madras I heard continually of " French rascality," " French 
rapacity," " French grimaces." The men in Adlercron's would 
say : " The Monseers had not the wit and good-breeding of the 
English. D — n the parly-vous and all that belong to them ;" 
and we were all dying " to have a slice at the Monseers." I 
had been at Madras some months, when, one evening at dusk, 
while I was out walking alone, a meanly dressed native ap- 
proached me. He placed in my hands, silently, a mysteriously 
small parcel, a bag barely larger in size than a letter ; this lit- 
tle packet was worked in thread of gold upon a green satin 
ground. After inspecting it with wonder, I remembered that 
this was the manner of the country in sending letters to people 
of rank, and that this splendid outer-covering might contain 
an epistle. 

On opening the bag I found, a letter, unsigned, but which I 
knew from the handwriting to be from Law of Lauriston, and 
it ran as follows : 

"Shahghur, February, 1765. 

"Sib, — I have been informed, by one who is your sincere 
well-wisher, that you are at this present time serving as a com- 
mon soldier in the army of the Elector of Hanover, a position 
of deep degradation to a gentleman of your spirit and honor. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 103 

" Should yon wish to mend your fortunes, and at the same 
time gain an opportunity of revenging yourself upon your 
enemies — those vindictive Whigs — 1 will obtain for you an en- 
sign's commission under the King of France. One Dalston, a 
free merchant, who will shortly visit Madras, will discover to you 
a scheme how you can best rejoin me in the Deccan, which it 
might be dangerous to make known to you by letter. 

" For the mending of your estate, and to enable you once 
more to take up your position as a person of quality, I am glad 
to inform you that your money, clothes, and plate, books, and 
much other property, have been delivered to my care at Cban- 
dernagore by Captain Surcouff, of the brig JDontelle, which 
money and goods I hope to make over to you when you es- 
cape into French territory, either in the Deccan or in Bengal. 
44 1 am, dear sir, your esteemed friend, L." 

The letter disturbed me much, for, if I cared not to serve the 
Elector of Hanover, I cared still less to serve the King of France"; 
but yet I waited with feverish anxiety to hear what this Dalston 
might have to propose. 

Some months after, by the ordinary course of the post, I re- 
ceived a letter which filled me with the wildest delight 

" The Factory of Calcutta, 1755, Oct. 12th, Bengal. 
" Sib, — You will be pleased to hear that some of my afflic- 
tions are at an end by the arrival of my father and myself in 
Bengal. In all that has happened I have suffered more than 
you ; indeed, I have suffered so much in body and mind that I 
have felt as one distraught You have had a clear conscience, 
but, ah! Nevill, too late I , remembered my duty to my dear 
father. He remained in the Tower for one year untried, when, 
through the good offices of friends at court, he was released ; 
but we, in fortune, were well-nigh ruined. The legal charges, 
and various gifts we had made to people of influence, crippled 
our estate ; but what completed our ruin was that my father's 
mercantile affairs fell into confusion through the dishonesty of 
some and the incapacity of others of his agents. The Buck- 
land New Cross estate and house were sold to his Grace of 
Portchester, though at a figure which in no way repaid the large 
sums which my father had expended upon them ; and then your 



^T 



1 



104 PRIMUS IK IKDIS. 

cousin Gerard, who loved the rich heiress and not honest Patty 
Orme, called one morning, bowed politely, and refused to many 
this country wench." 

" Scoundrel ! knave !" I muttered, " shall I never be revenged 
npon him for all the evils he has forced upon me F' 

" Ah, but Nevill," wrote the lady, " how glad I was to be re- 
leased and rid of him. He jilted me and wedded the Lady 
Betty Chester. "lis true her fortune was but small, but with 
her he acquired rank and influence, which his ambitious mind 
valued as equal to money, and he gained likewise the respect 
and regard of his neighbors. Through his Grace of Portchester's 
influence, and his own unceasing intrigues, he obtained a good 
place as an Under-Secretary to those sordid knaves of Whigs, 
and where doubtless his subtle tongue and keen wit would have 
procured him still higher advancement, but in the end his suc- 
cess availed him naught, for he was killed in a duel by Sir 
John Joddrell." 

I was deeply moved to hear of the death of one who from 
envy and self-interest had been my bitter enemy. 

" May God have mercy on his soul !" I ejaculated. 

"Honest Diggory, since his disappearance at Cork, I have 
been unable to trace ; he must have been pressed into the navy ; 
but you have heard how through the honesty of that brave and 
excellent sailor Captain SurcoufE, of St. Malo, your property and 
money have arrived in India, and they will, I hope, assist you 
greatly to better your fortunes. 

" In Bengal I am as happy as any one can be whose memory 
is clouded with terrible scenes. Nevill ! I cannot forget the 
past, and, though I can never be yours, I never forget to pray 
and to think of your safety and welfare. 

" My father lives in the Indian manner, and before be re- 
turned to England he was allied to a Moorish gentlewoman. This 
I have known all my life, and for my half brothers and sisters 
I have a sincere affection. His wife is an amiable and virtu- 
ous woman, belonging to a considerable family. I live behind 
high walls, still I have my private apartments, and my father 
gives me every indulgence which his good heart prompts, nor 
am I debarred from all society and amusement, as among the 
senior and junior factors of this Factory and their ladies there 
are many people of worth and merit. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 105 

11 1 charge you, write no more to me — at present, at least — 
and seek not to see rae again, for I have promised my father, 
the best of men, that I will never again see or converse with you; 
This promise I have most solemnly given, and shall most in- 
violably keep. My father has not expressly forbidden my 
writing, yet that may be an omission from forgetfulness, or it 
perhaps is included in the word conversing. A promise with 
me is a very sacred thing, and is to be extended to everything 
understood from it, as well as what is expressed by it. The old 
friendship that once happily existed between our families 
prompts me to think I am justified in telling you such matters 
of moment to you as the death of your kinsman, the sad disap- 
pearance of honest Diggory, and the fact that your property in 
valuables is now in a place of safety. 

" Believe this, that I shall always think of you as I think 
you deserve, and am, sir, 

" Your obliged servant, Patience Orme. 

"P. S. — Should Dalston, the free merchant, seek you at 
Madras, put every confidence in him. He is a man of courage 
and honor, the sincere friend of him whom I so deeply loved 
and respected, and will, I think, be able to render you much 
service." 

It took me a long time to read this letter. I experienced 
a feeling of both grief and joy. I was overjoyed to hear that 
she whom I loved was still free, or at least not married to that 
villain Gerard, and, although in words she renounced me at her 
father's bidding, I could still hope — the only panacea left to the 
unfortunate. Better days and brighter might arise, and I now 
awaited with great impatience the arrival of this stranger called 
Dalston. 

At Madras every martial breast, nay, every English heart, 
heaved with rage against the French. This bitter detestation 
was due to the fact that this people, aided by the Moors, had, 
ten years before, taken the fort of Madras from the British, had 
ruined our trade, and had absolutely driven us to our ships, and 
had all but succeeded in expelling us from this part of India. 
Not satisfied with having done us so much evil, they were again 
intriguing with the natives of the country, and doing us all the 
ill which lay in their power. 



"^W 



VT 



106 primus ik indis. 

Id the year 1755, though nominally at peace, the British and 
the French in Madras hated each other intensely, and despised 
each other cordially. 

The novelty of my surroundings, and this new life, prevented 
my brooding over my misfortunes; added to this I had the 
elasticity of youth, therefore I was not unhappy at Madras. I 
respected both the officers and my fellow-sergeants of the 39th 
regiment. Among these last, in spite of certain prejudices of 
my education, I discovered that a brave and honest heart may 
beat under a fustian coat. 

One thing which added much to my contentment was to find 
in a companion regiment, called the Madras Regiment, many 
men who, like myself, were unfortunate gentlemen. Some had 
been ruined by Jacobite loyalty, and some by gambling, cock- 
fighting, and horse-racing. Among the gamesters there was 
Com p ton, who afterwards obtained a commission ; Deering, of 
a Kentish family, who met a soldier's death at Plassy. 

Among the Jacobites were Drummond, a Scotchman, Fitz- 
gerald, an Irishman, both of whom preferred soldiering in 
Madras to slavery in the West Indies. Deering and Fitzgerald 
had taken part in the late campaigns. They had served in the 
siege of Arkat, the great battle of Kaveripak, and many other 
engagements ; and they were never weary of narrating, nor I of 
listening to, their strange tales and adventures. 

According to Deering, the French captain-general, Law of 
Lanriston, was a good soldier, and, at one time, had inflicted 
some heavy defeats upon the British. They considered he 
might be more than a match for any ordinary commander, but 
said that he had been out-marched, out-manoeuvred, and most 
utterly defeated by the greatest military genius of the age, and, 
for that matter, of any age, namely, by Robert Clive, who at the 
age of only twenty-two had been our general at Madras. 

I bore my new position in a new world with philosophy, even 
with pleasure, and this was because, poor deluded mortal, I was 
intoxicated by the wildest hopes. Humble as my actual posi- 
tion was, I painted to myself a great future. 

The very name and history of this Robert Clive, of whom my 
comrades never ceased to talk, haunted and encouraged me. 
He, as I, had arrived in Madras a poor and friendless youth. In 
ten years he had gained a large fortune, a king's commission, 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 107 

and tbat too of tbe rank of full colonel. He had driven the 
French from the country of Madras, and had defeated them in 
numberless encounters. Ah! Robert Clive! He also had v 
married the lady he loved, had returned to England, had been 
well received at court, and by the public, though the royal pat- 
ronage was an honor I did not envy him ; for never would I 
kiss the hand of King George II. 

Hope whispered to me, " Why should destiny not have some- 
thing in store for you also, Nevill Eavensthorpe ? In ten years, 
or less, you also may make a fortune and a mark in the world." 
Discretion might have, however, suggested, "You, Nevill Ravens- 
thorpe, are no great military genius ;" but hope remains to us 
poor mortals when all pleasing realities are fled ; we endure the 
present by believing the future will repay us, and we never alto- 
gether lose heart by thinking of the time when " our luck," as 
we put it, will change. 

" Luck," " fate," " fortune," all words and signs by which 
we cheat ourselves to submit to the otherwise unendurable. To 
fail in a great object — and this I had experienced — is hell. 
The men and the cause which I had joined heart and soul had 
failed. 

In attaching myself to the Stuarts I had indeed espoused a 
lost cause. People with more wisdom and caution than I had 
possessed, such as Gerard or Squire Ravensthorpe, had seen that 
the house of Hanover was too strongly established to be over- 
thrown ; still, even then, in spite of all I had suffered, if either 
my fortune, my time, my thought, my intellect, my last drop of 
blood, or ray last gasp of life, could have helped to establish the 
hapless Charles Edward on the throne which was his by birth- 
right, I would have given them all freely for him. 

But now a new loyalty seemed to possess me. I could not, 
I dared not, even for the king over the water, join the French, 
the enemies of England, and bear arms against my fellow-coun- 
trymen, as Law of Lauriston was doing. We were therefore 
now in opposite camps. 

The hot weather, with its plagues of fevers, boils, and prickly 
heat, passed away, and then the rains succeeded. They were 
welcome at first, but depressing when the sickness in the regi- 
ment increased alarmingly from the damp heat and evil smells. 

All ranks drank deeply, and gambled to the extent of their 



108 PRIMUS IN IHDIS. 

means ; and then at length the cooler season returned, and onr 
drills increased, but still there remained the monotony, eating 
away my soul with rust, especially as I counted the days when 
I could hear again from Cynthia, or before Dalston could ar- 
rive. I felt restless and undecided — should I leave Adlercron 
and serve the King of France? It might better my fortunes, 
but I revolted from the idea of becoming a traitor to my coun- 
try. I never would have entertained the thought for one min- 
ute only that Archibald Law had been in the French service, 
and that I also should join it might be the wish of Mistress 
Orme. 

On the 15th November, 1755, 1 was walking in the bazaars of 
the Black Town, when a well-dressed Moor stopped at the shop 
in which I was making some purchases. 

There was something familiar to me in the ring of his voice, 
and I thought I had seen the slender, tall, and yet powerfully 
built figure before; but what was my amazement, when I saw 
his face, to recognize Law of Lauriston. The large white tur- 
ban he wore, and his long beard, were a complete disguise ; be- 
sides this, he looked more than twenty years older than when 
I had seen him in England. His form was emaciated, his face 
wrinkled and careworn; but I was the less shocked at these 
changes, having observed the deadly nature of the Indian cli- 
mate to some constitutions, and knowing also the many hard- 
ships and campaigns Law had undergone since we had met 

" Ravensthorpe," said he, in a low voice, " I have long wished 
to see you, but did not dare to attract attention. I am en- 
camped in the suburbs of this town ; ask for Dalston's camp. 
I would speak with you privately. I cannot stay now." 

" In charity, sir, before you leave, tell me what news you 
have of the Lady Cynthia." 

I cannot express how strange it seemed to me to be asking 
him that question in an Eastern bazaar, and on the surf-beaten 
coast of India — the very question I had asked him years before 
in Westminster. 

Law's eyes flashed with that cold, steely glance which made 
them terrible in anger. 

"The lady is well. I have seen her lately. Giles Orme 
grows wealthy, and Mistress Patty Orme has turned Whig." 



\ 
A 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 109 



CHAPTER XIX. 

IN BENGAL. 

I obtained leave of absence, and made my way to the sub- 
urbs of the town. 

I soon reached a clamp of trees, and under the shade of this 
thickly planted grove I saw an encampment of large tents, such 
as are used only by men of quality or officers of high rank. 
From one of the many handsomely dressed servants who were 
in waiting I inquired for " Dalston Sahib." 

I was led into one of the finest tents ; in it I found a tall, 
well-dressed Moor. 

"May I ask your business, sir?" he said, addressing me in 
English. 

He was dark and swarthy, like one of the Indian people. I 
was at a loss what to answer him, not knowing under what cir- 
cumstances or under what name Mr. Law was, in British terri- 
tory, or if he wished to be discovered. This awkward silence 
ended by Law himself joining us. 

" Allow me to present you, sir, to Mr. Dalston," said he, in- 
troducing me to the man I had taken for a Moor ; " it was 
through Mr. Dalston's munificence that my luckless cousin, Ar- 
chibald Law, regained his liberty from Barbary." 

Mr. Dalston shortly retired and left us alone. 

Law asked me if I proposed accepting a French commission. 

This I at once refused absolutely. He seemed unable to un- 
derstand my reason. 

" And yet, Ravensthorpe," said he, " you were once the firm 
adherent of the white cockade. Good God!" cried he, ex- 
citedly pacing up and down the tent, "and how maddening 
it is to think how nearly they succeeded. If they had but 
marched on from Derby, one more victory, and the cause was 
gained. You stand hesitating, Ravensthorpe, and yet you saw 
the death agonies of Archibald Law ; and his ignominious end 



w /~ 



r ^^ 



110 PBIMT7S IN INDUS. 

was only the same as that of hundreds of other loyal hearts. 
When you think of these victims, how can yon still serve King 
George and the Hanoverians ? Shame ou you ! I thought you 
were made of sterner stuff." 

But I answered sullenly : 

"As I hope to be saved, I would die a thousand deaths 
sooner than serve with the French against my country." 

" You have gone too far to draw back ; as an obscure sol- 
dier or sergeant you escape notice, but once arrive (if you ever 
do), at the position of a commissioned officer, your birth and 
history must become known. You will find yourself in danger 
from those vindictive Whigs, and your want of fortune will 
place you iu a painful position among your equals. If you 
obstinately refuse employment in the French service, then I 
recommend you to become a free merchant." 

" Surely to bear arms, even as a private, is more in character 
with the birth and education of a gentleman," cried I, " than 
to turn trader ! Of trade I know nothing, nor wish I to learn 
anything." 

" You must judge for yourself ; but when I discoursed with 
Mistress Orme, who takes the warmest interest in your career 
— although she is turned Whig — we were of opinion it was 
the best thing for you to do." 

" Would you have me become a shopkeeper? What is the 
life of a free trader?" For, although I did not know exactly 
the work of these people, I knew that among the factors of 
Madras they were not much respected. 

" Mr. Balston, it appears, ifr willing to allow you to join in 
his travels and adventures. As his companion you will need 
the use of your sword more than of your pen; your pistols 
will keep accounts far better than your ledger; and it is a line 
of life in which you may quickly and honestly acquire wealth." 

" A life of danger and action is all I ask ;" for I was begin- 
ning to be weary of the monotony of my barrack life, and the 
prospect of wealth held out to me was tempting. With a for- 
tune I might aspire to gain Mistress Orme's hand ; but yet to 
leave Adlercron's regiment, 'to begin a new life, was not alto- 
gether pleasing to me. It was to break for once and forever 
with my dreams and fantasies of being a great captain ; for 
I still felt that I was suited for the life of a soldier. Moreover 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. Ill 

I could not leave my comrades or my officers without regret. 
I had found a home in Colonel Adlercron's regiment. 

Law unfolded to me that Dalston had a scheme of collecting 
a large armed caravan ; that he would first travel to the court 
of the Great Mogul, and then by Persia, through Aleppo, reach 
the Grand Seignior's dominions. He added that Dalston had 
already performed this journey in coming to India, and had 
made a large fortune by trade during this bold enterprise. 
Law then confided to me that to carry out these far-extended 
schemes we must for this venture collect, in the settlement of 
Calcutta, English broadcloth and other merchandise. He said 
that it would be necessary in doing this to elude the vigilance 
of the East India* Company, who had the sole right to trade in 
India. Moreover that, should we be discovered, we should be 
imprisoned and reshipped to England ; but that, owing to the 
precautions Dalston would take, this part of the risk was but 
trifling, and that afterwards our danger would be small and the 
trading profits enormous. 

My imagination was fired by the prospect of such an adven- 
turous journey, especially with such an experienced companion 
as Mr. Dalston, who had travelled in many lands; for Law had 
explained to me that Dalston had himself once been a slave in 
Morocco, and had lived both in Turkey and in Spain. He was 
very wealthy, and so thoroughly versed in the languages and 
customs of the Moors that he passed in India as one of that 
people. 

I said I would reflect upon what was proposed, but as Dal- 
ston, who had joined us, and Law both impressed upon me 
that it was Mistress Orme's wish that I should accept this 
strange offer, I felt much tempted to do so. 

After twenty-four hours' reflection I decided to throw in my 
fortunes with Dalston, although I felt a singular regret at leav- 
ing Adlercron's. I was actuated by the desire of making a for- 
tune, for what Law had said about the difficulty of my ever ob- 
taining a commission had struck me as true. I mvself wished 
to go ; besides, I believed I was following the wishes of Lady 
Cynthia, and she was the one object of my life. But what 
turned the balance and foolishly weighed down all other ob- 
stacles against the project was, the hope that shortly I should 
leave for Calcutta, and there see Mistress Orme. To behold 



o 



112 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

her face once more and to hear her sweet voice were pleasures 
for which I could have faced a thousand deaths ! And these 
delights would have steeled my heart against listening to any 
prudent warnings of the dangers and risks of such a journey, 
feut who, at my age, would have counted up perils and bad fort- 
unes and not have acted as I did ? Who would have stopped 
as a private at Madras when the prospect of seeing Prester 
John, the Great Mogul, and the Grand Seignior had been offered 
to him ? I was only childishly anxious to start at once. 

The lieutenant of my company, Weldon by name, a poor but 
most meritorious officer, aged sixty, spoke to the captain, who 
was wealthy and young ; and through their good offices I was 
permitted to purchase my discharge. Colonel Adlercron might 
have refused this favor, as the regiment was on foreign service, 
but Lieutenant Weldon, who knew I was a gentleman, pressed 
the matter, and I was allowed to leave. 

Dalston had chartered a ship of the country to make the 
voyage. It was a native craft, with large lateen sails. 

As the sea was calm, and the wind was favorable, we made 
a rapid run of ten days across the Bay of Bengal, and I enjoyed 
not only the fresh sea-air, but the prospect of seeing Mistress 
Orme. 

Alas ! not, however, when we landed, for I well knew that 
we were to disembark in French territory, but, as I should be 
but seventy miles from her, I trusted to some lucky chapter of 
accidents, or to my own courage and address, to effect a meet- 
ing with my dearest lady. 

We reached the shores of Bengal, and we were gliding along 
in a light breeze up a river, when we passed a large English 
vessel anchored until the wind should increase, or the tide turn, 
to enable her to continue the ascent of the stream. I naturally 
gazed upon the ship with interest, more especially as lounging 
upon the poop were two or three feminine figures, one of which 
appeared to possess peculiar grace. 

" Heavens and earth !" was my exclamation. " What in the 
name of Heaven do I behold ?" There, actually leaning over 
the ship's side, with a straw hat on her head, was Cynthia. 
Her attention had been as naturally attracted to the quaint native 
vessel as mine had been to the English ship. She, of course, 
noticed the three seemingly Moorish figures in the Indian craft, 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 113 

but my eyes met hers, and I knew that she recognized us — or 
at least me. 

We were at no greater distance than might have sufficed for 
a piece of ship's biscuit to be thrown from one to the other. 

As we glided by my presence of mind seemed lost, else I 
should have cried out to our sailors to run our vessel alongside. 
I only, however, waved my handkerchief. 

Cynthia looked pale and seemed to start in utter amazement, 
then she waved her hand, and afterwards, as we slowly passed, 
she also waved a white kerchief. I felt that I ought to jump 
overboard and swim to her, rather than pass her thus. 

Law and Dalston had also been equally attracted by looking 
at the ship, and had recognized its fair passenger. 

" Good God ! Ravensthorpe," cried Dalston, " stop that sig» 
nailing to the lady, you will attract the attention of the crew ; 
we have to slip pass the fort of Calcutta at night and unob- 
served. It is unlucky we have fallen in with this ship — the 
Duke of Grafton, I see it is called ; but if the marvel was ever 
seen in this world of a woman who can keep a secret or is dis- 
creet, sure that woman is Mistress Orme. However, better than 
all secrets and discretion, we shall have passed Calcutta long 
before that lumbering hulk arrives there to anchor in port." 

" For my part, I care no longer to trust Mistress Patty with 
my secrets since she has become the most arrant Whig," said 
Law. " I cannot think you were very prudent to do your best 
to attract notice to our craft," he continued to me. 

For my part, I knew that I could not have passed without 
saluting Mistress Orme, who was the magnet which attracted 
me to Bengal, no, not even if I were to be killed that minute 
for it ; however, I felt I had no right to endanger my compan- 
ions, so I made no reply. We kept out of sight in the ship's 
cabin after this as long as we were in British territory, and 
early the next morning we arrived safely, and anchored before 
the French settlement of Chandernagore. 

8 



114 PRIMUS IN I5DIS. 



CHAPTER XX. 

AT CHANDERNAGORB, 1755. 

On disembarking, I observed that the French settlement bad 
a clean and cheerful air. A broad esplanade shaded by trees 
ran alongside the river ; beyond that rose the long curtain walls, 
and high bastions of the Fort d'Orleans ; besides this, the gov- 
ernor's fine residence, the church, and the court-house could be 
seen. I noticed also, with no small surprise, on a fine public 
mall, many gentlemen walking with women of quality, as I 
judged them to be from the handsome dresses in which they 
appeared. 

The men wore laced silk coats, rapiers, red-heeled shoes, and 
three-cornered hats surmounted their elaborately dressed wigs, 
while the ladies in their hoops, powdered heads, and carrying 
their fans, appeared to me the most beautiful of mortals. 

We proceeded on foot to the residence, which was near at 
hand, of the French governor, M. Renault de St. Germain. He 
received us most hospitably, accosting Mr. Dalston and me with 
marked politeness, while he greeted Mr. Law with the greatest 
cordiality. 

That evening there was to be an assembly and a reception of 
all the principal residents, of the ladies, and all the officers of the 
garrison, to do honor to Mr. Law. 

I wore a blue-and-gold suit and a dress rapier, with diamond 
buckles in my shoes. I was indeed rejoiced to find myself 
again in the garb of a gentleman, and associating with people 
of birth and breeding, after having experienced all the rough- 
ness of barrack-room life and the horrors of the cock-pit on 
board a ship ; although I do not wish to forget the good qual- 
ities I discovered among my late companions. 

Equipped in my full dress, and feeling not a little vain and 
elated of my handsome suit, accompanied by Mr. Law, I pre- 
sented myself at the ball. The governor's rooms were large, 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 115 

stately, and brilliantly lighted by many chandeliers, fall of wax 
candles, and the music struck up a merry tune. The older 
people of the company were playing cards, while the officers 
and ladies were dancing. I could not help remembering that 
when last I had been in so gay a company it was at my com- 
ing of age, when 1 danced a minuet at Ravensthorpe with Mis- 
tress Patty Orme. This could hardly fail to awaken certain 
melancholy reflections in my breast. 

The thought which was uppermost in my heart ever since I 
had landed in Bengal was, how I should gain an interview with, 
the Lady Cynthia ; this so completely absorbed me that I hard- 
ly sufficiently rejoiced in the happy change in my situation; 
however, chancing to meet Mr. Law in the ballroom, I asked 
his advice by what means I could best see Mistress Orme. 

" To a prudent man," said he, " I should advise that you' 
should abandon all idea of seeing her again." 

" My dear sir," cried I, " can you have the barbarity to rec- 
ommend such a course to a lover, to one who is so completely 
her humble servant as I am." 

" In advising "you, my deai'Nevill," said he, " I am aware that 
the virtue of prudence is not to be found in your breast, but 
after all the evils you have endured it ought to have taught you 
to act with caution. As your friend I must tell you that in 
seeking the Lady Cynthia in Calcutta you would be acting the 
part of a madman. Dalston may have to visit Calcutta on the 
furthering of his trading prospects, but then he will pass, as he 
well can, for an Arabian merchant, and will have to go there 
with the greatest secrecy, for fear of being discovered by the 
factors. You would be exposed to dangers a hundredfold as 
great, and might speedily find yourself in a dungeon for life or 
on a West Indian plantation." 

His reasoning displeased me exceedingly. 

" Sir," I cried, " come good, come ill, I will not renounce the 
idea of seeing that sweetest and most incomparable lady," 

" Should you see her, you would not advance your suit. 
Never would Mistress Orme, as she is still called by many, dis- 
oblige her father by marrying against his wishes ; and for you 
Giles Orme entertains the bitterest hatred; not only because 
you are Jacobite, but because by misadventure you have im- 
poverished him, and lost that gold — that fortune— he loved 



i»»r 



116 PRIMUS IN USTDIS. 

more than life, for greed is the master passion of this English 
trader. Should you ever find yourself in the Company's terri- 
tory, be sure of this, that in Giles Orme you would have the 
most relentless enemy." 

At this point I observed that there seemed some stir in the 
ballroom, and that something was going to take place which 
excited general interest and comment. I soon discovered the 
cause. M. Renault de St. Germain was leading forth a lady to 
dance a minuet de la cour. The lady was slender and graceful ; 
she wore a magnificent sack of white satin brocade, while her 
ornaments were the most beautiful pearls. 

My heart beat to suffocation. I was moved and surprised 
beyond measure when on seeing her lovely countenance I dis- 
covered this peerless being to be my own dear lady — Mistress 
Patty Orme. She was smiling gayly at her companion and 
playing with her fan. 

It appeared, from what I heard from the bystanders, that the 
governor was noted for the grace with which he danced ; while 
" Madam Law," as they styled the lady, was equally celebrated 
for her beauty and for the extreme elegance of her carriage. 

When the dance commenced, the sides of the room were 
crowded by a throng of eager spectators, and so anxious were 
all to see the agreeable spectacle that those in the rear rank 
clambered upon chairs and benches to gain a good view of the 
fair performers. Loud applause greeted them ; but how can 
my words describe the grace and dignity with which Mistress 
Patty moved, or how charmingly majestic she appeared in her 
splendid dress. 

When the minuet was ended, the governor led her back to 
her seat, and there around her assembled many gallant men; 
for although the officers at Chandernagore were Frenchmen, I 
must own they were people of quality, and, like the governor 
himself, many of them men of honor and merit. 

Although Mistress Orme was surrounded by a court of ad- 
mirers, still I felt myself impelled to make myself known to 
her, even though she had written me word that she had pledged 
her honor never to speak to me again. It is impossible, cried 
my hot heart, that she will feel herself obliged to keep to so 
unreasonable a promise and so cruel a resolve. 

I approached her. It was evident that she knew that I had 



primus in nrois. 11? 

reached the French settlement ; she turned red and then pale, 
but, recovering her composure, she said, in the French tongue, 
to a fop dressed in red velvet, who was vainly trying to make 
himself agreeable to her — 

" Ah, marquis !" cried the lady, " I see an old friend and a 
fellow-countryman." 

" Madam," answered he, " how can you have the barbarity 
to call yourself an Englishwoman, when such wit, beauty, and 
grace as yours belong clearly to our nation ?" 

"Still, marquis," said she, "this young stranger was my 
neighbor in Gloucestershire, a country district in England." 

" Ah, madam !" cried he, " do not tell me that such charms 
as yours were ever hidden away in a country place." 

By this time I stood silent before her, unable to utter a word. 
Pleasure so long delayed was absolutely painful ; we stood side 
by side too deeply moved to speak. 

I observed near her a youthful companion, who in height 
and elegance resembled Mistress Orme, only that while she had 
the most delicate pink-and-white eomplexion, this young lady, 
who seemed but a girl, had the raven black hair, the dark eyes, 
and olive complexion of a Spaniard. 

" This lady," said Cynthia, " is my dear sister, Mistress Carey, 
and this gentleman is her husband, Captain Carey, the owner 
of the trading-ship the Duke of Grafton, in which you saw me 
while on the river." 

She presented me to a fine-looking man in the uniform of a 
sailor. 

" And this," said she, presenting me in my turn, " is a gen- 
tleman from the county of Gloucester, Mr. Ravensthorpe by 
name." 

I took her hand, and conducted her out into the garden. 
The French, who in all countries are so gay, and who so com- 
pletely understand driving dull care away with stately enter- 
tainments, had illuminated the grounds with the greatest taste. 
The paths were decorated by innumerable oil-lights, and these 
walks led to grottoes and pleasure-houses. Down one of these 
alleys I led the lady, and we gained a bower in a remote part 
of the grounds ; it overlooked the river, and was removed from 
the direct observation of the other guests. 
^ How exquisitely beautiful was Cynthia's appearance 1 her 



118 PEIMU8 IK IKDIB. 

long white dress displayed her graceful figure, her brown locks 
fell in lovely negligence about her snowy neck, which rivalled 
in whiteness the strings of pearls which encircled it. I saw 
from her heaving bosom that she was deeply agitated by meet- 
ing me again. 

"Madam," cried I, "you never wrote again. Day after 
day, week after week, I waited and watched, hoping you would 
relent, and now in despair I have come to this country, not so 
much to seek my fortune, but to find you, who are the only 
object for which I live." 

" I could not write. I dared not. Even now, Nevill, if our 
meeting had not been purely accidental, I should have felt it 
my duty to have refused you this interview ; but since chance 
has thrown us together, and you are starting on so distant and 
dangerous a journey, it would be an unkindness to have parted 
without a word of farewell ; but I can never be yours, though 
I love you wholly and truly." 

" Your words fill me with despair, madam !" cried I ; " but 
I am grateful for this happy chance, which has given me the 
exquisite delight of seeing and speaking to you once more." 

Then she told me by what strange destiny she happened to 
land for that night, or rather for a few hours, at Chandernagore. 
She pointed out to me a large ship anchored in mid-stream of 
the great river spread before us, and which ran at the end of 
the garden. She informed me that Captain Carey's ship, the 
Duke of Grafton, was to unload certain cargoes at Hooghly, 
the Dutch settlement close at hand, and that her sister, being 
young, had much wished to attend the French governor's 
party ; but that when the tide served her brother-in-law's ship 
would float down the river to Calcutta in a few days. 

" But, madam," cried I, " may I not follow you to the Eng- 
lish settlement? Could you not use your influence with the 
mayor and council to permit me to visit the English Factory ?" 

" I cannot advise it," said the Lady Cynthia ; " banish such 
an idea as too dangerous." 

She then informed me, with that perspicuity and intelligence 
which formed so marked a feature of her discourse, that Mr. 
Giles Orrae was deeply incensed against me ; while he acquitted 
her of all blame, he very unjustly laid all his misfortunes to 
my door* 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. . 119 

It appeared that Mr. Orme's imprisonment and the harsh 
treatment which he had received had arisen from the generally 
received belief that it was he who had caused the destruction 
of Upland Tower to remove all proof of having brought over 
arms in his ships. The destruction of that place had caused 
him to be much suspected and had brought him into general 
odium. This injustice might have soured a nobler temper than 
that of Mr. Giles Orme. 

Mistress Patty told me that were it even in her power to ap- 
pease the anger of her father, still the spirit of the times, and 
the turn of public affairs in Calcutta, made it most unwise for 
me to approach that settlement, apart from any private malevo- 
lence of her parent or any other individual. She informed me 
that fifty "interlopers," as the privileged factors styled the 
free merchants, had been recently turned out of the place. 
They had been ordered to depart upon pain of imprisonment, 
and the threat of being subsequently deported vi et armis. 

"Moreover," continued the lady, "the relations between the 
French and English are so strained, that, sooner or later, and 
indeed before long, war must again break out between the two 
nations. The late success of the French in Madras — as you 
know who have come from there — has caused a very bitter 
feeling between the rival companies and rival nations. Besides 
your having landed in Bengal with so noted an enemy to Brit- 
ish interest as Law of Lauriston, the mayor and council have 
heard that you have deserted from Colonel Adlercron's regi- 
ment, and are a French spy." 

" By heavens, madam ! it is false." 

" I never believed it," said Cynthia, " but, of course, coming 
with Law led it to be so supposed ; considering all this, arid 
that my father is not to be reconciled to you, and that if the 
mayor and council find you in their settlement imprisonment 
is your certain fate, I can but recommend to you prudence as 
the better part of valor. Here, Nevill, we must part, and part — 
I fear — forever." 

" Madam !" cried I, "is this to be the end of my years of 
devotion, that you can coldly cast me aside like a worn-out 
glove? Reconsider your decision. Recall your cruel words. 
Dearest Cynthia, give me some hope." 

" In future years ; in time to come ; in heart, in all time to 



■ — r 



120 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

come, I am yours, and yet never will I marry to disoblige my 
father. Never may you be placed in the cruel position I am in, 
of having injured one I love. My life is a daily regret ; 'tis a 
martyrdom to me to see my father — a feeble old man of seven- 
ty — beginning life over again. You, dear Nevill, are young, 
and your life is before you ; but when I see my poor aged par- 
ent, with his gray hairs, broken health, and, alas, broken hopes, 
working daily with so much courage at his business, I am cut 
to the heart Unfortunate old man ! mv conscience tells me 
that it was my want of candor, my want of rectitude, my want 
of judgment, and my selfish devotion to one who is no more, 
which have been the cause of his ruin. Besides, Nevill, I am 
now as poor as yourself, for all my mother's fortune I have 
given up to enable my father, by fresh trading ventures, to 
again build up his estate. This must be our last parting, and 
my final answer." 

At these words I own that I wept like a child, nor was Lady 
Cynthia more collected than I was. 

" I can bear my own trouble, but not your grief, Nevill !" 
she murmured. ** To see you so unmanned breaks mj heart 
Let us meet our untoward destiny bravely. In the time of war 
and peril which threatens this settlement some work of useful- 
ness and post of honor may come to you. You will be happy 
again and begin life afresh, but I, who am not older in years 
than you are, am far older in heart. I have long ago given up 
all hope of happiness." 

" Then, madam, I am to understand I am dismissed ?" cried I. 

" Put it not so unkindly ; dismissed you are not, for you 
will ever be dearer to me than life, but neither are you engaged 
to me." 

We remained for long in earnest conversation, and en- 
tranced in each other's society, during which time Cynthia 
begged me repeatedly not to follow her to Calcutta, and said 
that she had suffered such agony of mind in hearing of my 
arrest that she dreaded above all things a repetition of the terri- 
ble scenes we had lived through two years before; and she 
added that if my business with Dalston absolutely obliged me 
to visit the English settlement, I must not seek to see her; it 
was not her wish, for it might place me in great dauger. 

On the ball ending I conducted Mistress Patty, escorted by 






PRIMUS IN INDIS. 121 

her sister and Captain Carey, to a flight of steps leading down 
to the river. They entered a boat which was to take them 
back to their ship. I handed Mistress Orme into the boat, and 
on the side of the river we said our last farewell. I watched 
the small craft skim across the dark water, and through the 
broad path of glory caused by the moonlight shining on the 
river, until they at length reached the ship. 

I was dismissed! It seemed a cruel ending for so many 
years* of waiting, that we should be so placed that I was virtu- 
ally compelled to abandon her, and that she was forced to give 
me up. However I could not at that minute realize my posi- 
tion ; the glamour of her presence was over me ; without her I 
had neither aim nor object in life ; but with her dear voice still 
ringing in my ears I could not face the bitter truth of my deso- 
lation. 

I stayed for an hour or so watching the black hull of the 
ship with a strange mixture of confused, and at length of al- 
most angry, feelings in my heart. She had never loved me as 
I had loved her, or she would never have abandoned me at the 
bidding of any parent, said my wounded pride ; still I could but 
do her the justice to say that a marriage was impossible now 
that our fortunes were both equally low. 

The guests from the ball did not leave until dawn, the lights 
in the house disappeared, and those in the garden had long 
gone out, but sunrise found me still in the governor's grounds. 
I had wandered all night backwards and forwards, the air was 
deliciously balmy and calm, although a cool fresh wind blew 
from the river. The sky above was cloudless and filled with 
the most lustrous stars. When dawn appeared thousands of 
birds began twittering in the trees. I returned to the house to 
change my dress, and proposed visiting Dalston at an early hour, 
as in India all classes rise with the sun. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

IN DANGER. 



" Mr. Law would speak with your honor at once," said a ser- 
vant, at this moment addressing me. On following him I found 



122 PRIMUS IN INBI8. 

Law of Lauriston standing in the hall in a travelling-coat; a 
litter and its many carriers stood waiting at the front door, 
while in attendance was a regiment of porters to carry away 
his already packed boxes ; all showed he was in the very minute 
of departure. Moreover there was an expression of exhilara- 
tion and triumph in his countenance quite new to me, for of 
late years he had looked equally jaded in mind and body. 

" Nevill," cried he, in a gay tone, " I am leaving for Muxa- 
dabad. My one regret is that I must bid you farewell." . 

I was amazed. u Sir !" cried I, " your departure is most sud- 
den." 

I leave on urgent affairs. Should you find the life of a free 
merchant unpleasing to you, remember I can obtain a place, 
and, I believe, quick preferment for you, at the court of Muxa- 
dabad." 

He grasped my hand warmly, and then entered his equipage. 
The shuffling litter-bearers carried him quickly out of my sight. 
I was perplexed beyond measure at his exceedingly sudden de- 
parture, of which he had not given me the least warning. Af- 
ter he had left, I hastened to Dalston's encampment, whose 
tents were pitched under a grove of trees not far from the 
governor's house. 

I found Dalston at breakfast, in which meal he asked me to 
join him. 

" Law of Lauriston is gone," I ejaculated, not having recov- 
ered from my surprise. 

" Gone ! gone ! already ? He has not let the grass grow un- 
der his feet this time. If he had acted with this promptness 
in Madras, Robert Clive would not have won so many battles 
there." 

" Why has he gone ?" asked I. 

" I am not in the secret, but I doubt not that he has been 
ordered upon some secret service by M. Duplex. He may have 
gone to fan the flame of enmity which has sprung up between 
the Viceroy of Bengal and the factors of Calcutta." 

Dalston then explained to me how the Viceroy of Bengal, it 
was said, had vowed to drive the English from the country. 

" As for me," cried Dalston, " I should not be sorry to see 
the trading monopoly and power of these arrogant factors less- 
ened ; still I am an Englishman also, and I do not wish to see 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 123 

the British interest trampled upon by these Monsieurs, nor by the 
Moors of Muxadabad either. But once we reach the court of 
the Mogul, one thousand miles from this, we shall be beyond 
the influence of these quarrels." 

We remained at Chandernagore some months, but one day 
Dalston announced that we must visit the British settlement. 

A few days later Mr. Dalston, myself, and Monsieur St. Fray, 
a French officer, were floating down the river in a craft to Cal- 
cutta. At this time I began habitually to wear the Moorish 
dress; it was more suitable to a hot climate than our* silk and 
broadcloth coats. My garb was not one of great splendor ; it 
consisted of a white turban, a pair of loose drawers, a red sash 
round my waist, in which was stuck, rather theatrically, a large 
dagger, while a long, loose robe of figured cotton completed my 
Turkish attire. What pleased me the least were the shoes worn 
without stockings, and of a make and shape differing from ours. 
Dalston expressed himself much pleased with my appearance, but, 
for my part, I felt rather ridiculous ; though many of the Eng- 
lish at that time, who had long resided in Bengal — like Dalston 
himself — habitually wore Moorish clothes. 

Dalston passed in India as an Arabian merchant ; some said 
he was a Turk, but few suspected him of being an Englishman. 
He was called " Ibrahim Khan." Be had long resided in Bar- 
bary, where, as I have said before, it had been in his power to 
obtain the freedom of the luckless Archibald Law from slavery. 
Some said that Dalston had accepted the degraded tenets of the 
Koran ; he had so far conformed to them that he had more 
than one Moorish wife ; still there was something whimsical 
and extraordinary in his character, which inclined him to enjoy 
figuring in the disguise of a Moor, an infidel race, hateful and 
contemptible to most of our way of thinking. Outside these 
whims, Dalston was a man of spirit and of honor. 

I was at a loss to understand why M. St. Fray, an artillery offi- 
cer in the French service, accompanied us ; but I soon discov- 
ered his secret, for with that want of reserve, dignity, and mod- 
esty peculiar to the French character, he confessed that he was 
enamoured — or affected to be so — of Mistress Orme. Still, 
though this intrigue might have helped to attract him to Cal- 
cutta, I had presently grounds to suspect that he was really go- 
ing there on some secret service. . 



124 primus iw nrois. 

After all the forebodings of Mistress Cynthia, whom I had 
vowed never to see again, I felt no anxiety in visiting Calcutta 
in my present disguise. Dalston had a pass correctly signed, 
and I was included as one of his retinue. So many travellers 
arrived at the English Factory from all parts that it was impos- 
sible for the factors to suspect or detain every company of trad- 
ing Moors, and Dalston as well as myself considered that I was 
in no danger; but in this we were both mistaken, an error 
which caused me many months of despair. 

Wind and tide were in our favor ; we dropped quickly down 
the river, and in nine hours found ourselves before the English 
settlement. Calcutta, from the river, looked a place of impor- 
tance. On one side of the settlement was a large black town. 
The fort was not very imposing, but the public gardens, parks, 
and trees had an appearance both verdant and refreshing in 
that hot clime. The factors had built fine, large houses, while 
many lawns and pleasure-grounds ran down to the river. 

We disembarked at some steps leading to the custom-house, 
a building that was little more than a thatched open shed. The 
head officials were two Englishmen, who from their dress and 
language seemed to have lately been supercargoes or warrant 
officers of some ship. They were smoking Dutch clay pipes 
and drinking arrack punch. Dalston was well known to them. 
I remained in the background, and after examining our scanty 
baggage, which they did not closely inspect, I passed this bar- 
rier without suspicion. 

Once past the custom-house there was little fear of our being 
much noticed in the black town, amidst the bustle of the streets 
and bazaars of Calcutta. Swarms of natives had been attracted 
hither by the prospect of transacting business with the British. 
We saw no white faces, but the many black ones had a general 
aspect of being intent on their own affairs. The narrow road 
afforded much shade, though the mingled odors of rancid but- 
ter, stagnant ditches, and cocoanut oil were somewhat over- 
powering. Then the crowded bazaars were rendered confusing 
by reason of the noises, such as the creaking of rude cart-wheels 
which had never known grease, the babble of voices, the ever- 
sounding Indian drums, and jingling of bells, forever ringing in 
honor of idols. 

The houses of the English stood in a suburb far apart, and 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 125 

their gardens were surrounded by high, prison-like walls, while 
at their gatehouses, or porters' lodges, were many servants, 
mostly armed with swords. 

Dalston had sent his servants and camp to a place in the 
country, close to one Omichund's garden in the north part of 
the town. 

As we neared our encampment we passed the high wall which 
enclosed Omichund's gardens, a place more like an orchard than 
what we understand by a garden, and which covered an area of 
ground equal to four acres. From the large gateway of this en- 
closure, as we approached, ran out a multitude of people, who, 
by their outcries and lamentations, and their violent gestures, 
denoted that they were stirred by the contending passions of 
fear, anger, and despair. Then appeared half a dozen English 
musketeers under the command of a sergeant. They surrounded 
and guarded a litter, in which Was seated an aged Gentoo dressed 
in spotless white. 

I put my hand to my sword on seeing the soldiers, Dalston 
and the Frenchman did the same; but so occupied were all, 
both guards and the crowd, with the prisoner, that no one 
seemed to notice us especially. We learned" though, quickly 
enough, that the prisoner was Omichund himself, and that he 
was being carried to the fort by order of the governor, Mr. 
Drake, but what was the nature of his offence had not yet tran- 
spired. 

Dalston seemed both indignant and disturbed. "This is a 
high-handed proceeding," cried he ; " Omichund is no British 
subject, but a merchant of Muxadabad. If the viceroy were in- 
dignant at the arrest of Kassendass, a man of no mark, he will 
be the more angry when he knows that this indignity has been 
offered to a person of wealth and quality in this country." 

Moreover, Dalston considered this arrest as vexatious beyond 
measure, for he counted upon the good offices of this man to 
further our journey to the north. 

We reached our camp, but there all was in uproar. The re- 
lations and servants of Omichund who had followed us wailed 
and cried, and rent their garments, while the prisoner's brother, 
with much seeming eloquence and many tears, pressed Mr. Dal- 
ston to visit Muxadabad, and from the viceroy himself to obtain 
Omichund's immediate release ; nor would they be pacified un- 



126 PRIMUS IK INDIA. 

til they bad extracted some sort of promise from us that we 
would exert ourselves in this matter. 

After the first twenty -four hours I cannot tell with what 
anxiety I desired to leave the precincts of Calcutta, and how dis- 
tasteful and wearisome the place was to me ; and the reason of 
this I knew to be, that I was near Cynthia, and yet completely 
parted from her. 

There was a public road which passed by Giles Orme's resi- 
dence ; although it often occasioned me inconvenience, never 
would I pass that way, and yet, oh, silly heart ! what should I 
have seen ? Nothing but the high walls of her father's gardens, 
and his servants armed with swords, who kept watch at his 
gateway. To add to my absurdities, I would, at night, go out 
in a boat upon the river, and watch the lights streaming from 
Giles Orme's windows ; but as I went little abroad, and knew 
none of the English, so neither could I see nor hear anything 
of that dear lady, who was never for one minute out of my 
thoughts. 

St. Fray's conduct also occasioned Dalston and myself much 
annoyance ; we who only wished when our business was arranged 
to leave the English settlement quickly, seemed by his incautious 
conduct likely to attain an undesired notoriety. 

St. Fray would dress himself sometimesjin his full uniform, 
a handsome one of blue, turned back with yellow, a powdered 
wig, a three-cornered hat, and a rapier by his side. Thus attired 
he would then ride forth, and stop his horse in public places, 
and draw plans of the city. He would look over the state of 
the defences, which were poor enough, ask the number of the 
garrison and of the guns, and then openly talk of the number 
and size of the cannon necessary to take the fort. This St. 
Fray did so candidly and carelessly that none but the British 
factors, who were wholly absorbed in their own business, would 
have let him come and go at his trade, which was no less than 
that of a spy. If his indiscreet conduct had ended here, our 
anxiety and indignation might have not been so excessive, but, 
dressed in the finest suits, such as in blue and silver, brown vel- 
vet and yellow satin, or purple velvet turned up with pink, he 
would, besides, make morning calls upon the wives and daughters 
of the factors. 

One day, soon after he arrived, while habited in a suit of pale- 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 127 

green silk, embroidered with flowers, he oaused himself to be 
carried in a* litter to Giles Orme's house. When I saw him 
start, powdered and rouged, I was angry that this fop could go 
to a residence where I had once been welcome, and where I 
could no longer enter ; however, I did not envy him when he 
returned, for he arrived covered with mud and in the greatest 
disarray. He stated that Giles Orme's servants had driven him 
from the house with sticks and stones, but of what impertinence 
he had been guilty I knew not. 

Then by ogling honest Moorish and Gentoo women upon 
the roads, and paying them compliments, he so offended the 
people that he was dragged before the kadi — the Moors believ- 
ing that such conduct should be punished by death itself. But 
Dalston having a friendship with the kadi, and, besides, having 
given him a» heavy bribe, St. Fray — in consideration of his ig- 
norance of the Moorish law — was freed; although Dalston 
clearly foresaw that unless we left the settlement quickly his 
misdemeanors would bring us before the mayor court itself; 
therefore we did all we could to hasten our departure. 

The Company's territory extended for ten miles. On the 
boundary of the settlement was a village composed mostly of 
their weavers; this place was called Nabobgunge. Thither I 
had been sent by Dalston for two purposes : the one to de- 
spatch by water to Mnxadabad several boat-loads of bales of fine 
muslin he had purchased ; the second to buy horses and ponies 
for our journey northwards, as the place was celebrated for an 
excellent and hardy breed. 

On arriving at this village, the rural beauty of the place 
charmed me exceedingly. My solitary tent was pitched in a 
thick, shady grove near a temple. The very isolation in which 
I lived suited my love-sickness, as one of its signs is a desire 
for solitude. Possibly the hideousness of my circumstances, 
and the dangers which followed, have left this country village 
painted on my mind as an earthly paradise. 

I used to rise at dawn, awakened by the songs and twitter- 
ings of millions of birds. Monkeys were chattering and skip- 
ping from branch to branch ; green parrots were screaming and 
flying from tree to tree. I enjoyed the luxury of swimming in 
the river, and used to watch with interest the Brahmin guardian 
of the shrine, near which I lived, daily adorning his stone deity 



I*— w~r r ^" 



128 PRIMUS IN INDIA. 

with garlands of flowers, while his daughters, tall, elegant girk 
draped in simple muslin robes, came each morning -to draw 
water from the river in large, red, earthen vases. 

The village was large and wealthy. As I could not speak 
Moorish with any fluency, I had not much intercourse with the 
people ; * but, from what I saw of the villagers, they seemed to 
me a cheerful, hardworking people, only that with ourselves 
they were not over-particular in the matter of honesty while 
dealing in horseflesh. 

The village consisted of a single street At one end of it 
stood a large and shady tree ; under this the principal business 
of the place was conducted. While under this spreading tree 
(I was inspecting and rejecting horses) one day — and never shall 
I forget that ill-starred day — I was engaged in bartering about 
the price of a pony which I suspected of being broken- winded, 
when I perceived a small party of men with red turbans oti 
their heads, and drawn swords in their hands, were making 
their way through the crowded market-place. I never for one 
minute realized that I was the object of their search, but, how- 
ever, on finding myself suddenly attacked, I stood upon the de- 
fensive, with only two of the enemy threatening me, but four 
more hurried up. 

However, I remained with my sword en garde and showed 
fight, but as I crossed weapons with the foremost of my two 
opponents my arm was grasped from behind and my sword was 
wrested from me, and I was a prisoner, held by four stalwart 
natives. I was defenceless, and soon discovered I was in the 
power of the tyrannical factors of the Company. 

" Zounds ! Don't kill him ; disarm him," shouted the thick, 
loud voice of a red-faced and drunken sailor who now came up. 
" Blow me ! after serving his majesty — God bless him — these 
many years, as a warrant-officer in his majesty's fleet, I am not 
the man to let a cursed Jacobite loose to bring back the French 
king, the pope, and the Pretender. Yes, young man, you must 
sheer off with me. I know what that cursed hole in the fort 
is like too ; I once spent a night there myself — and there, my 
good sir, you had better come along without a word. You will 
be safe enough under the escort of Jack Tanner." 

I determined to be as civil as possible to my enemy, in the 
hopes of disarming suspicion and finding some opportunity of 
escape before reaching Calcutta. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 129 

I found myself compelled by my captors to walk away from 
the brief elysium I had found in this village. I was conducted 
to the riverside and made to enter a boat, which I discovered to 
be an English custom-house vessel cruising about to see that no 
contraband goods were being taken into French territory. This 
craft was, indeed, rather a small vessel than a boat ; she had two 
masts, and was rigged like a brig, except that the foremast was 
much the loftier of the two. A deck cabin occupied about three 
fifths of her length, upon which, under an awning, sat two Eng- 
lishmen, with glasses, pipes, and a bottle of rum for an evening 
draught upon the table. The English flag proudly floated over 
the brig's stern. A crowd of natives were upon the deck on the 
forward part of the ship, while others were engaged in steering 
the vessel. 

On reaching the ship any vague hopes of escape I had formed 
were quickly dissipated, as I was immediately handcuffed and 
left in charge of the soldiers of the custom-house police who 
had captured me ; while the custom-house officers at the table 
made merry over the rum, and began bawling and shouting 
such songs as " Bobbing Joan," and " Saint George he was for 
Epgland." 

I sat on the deck in silence : above was a cloudless sky bright 
with stars. The light craft with its high, fancifully carved prow 
shot through the dark but gleaming river. The forms of the 
palms upon the shore stood blackly forth from the darkness, 
and lights gleamed among the foliage, showing that we were 
passing houses and villages ; while, mixing with the boisterous 
songs of my captors, were the wild laughter and hideous out- 
cries of the jackals on the banks. I tried to picture my prob- 
able fate, but I was very hopeful. I never for a minute antici- 
pated the brutality with which I was to be treated. Life is a 
series of surprises, and it is the evils and blessings which we the 
least fear or expect which generally befall us. 

On landing at Calcutta I was conducted through the native 
town, on foot, and in fetters, to the fort, which abutted on the 
river ; and I finally found myself immured in a hot and small 
dungeon which looked through grated windows into the court" 
yard of the fort. 

* 9 



130 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 



CHAPTER XXIL 

IN PRISON. 

It is difficult to analyze my feelings when I found myself thus 
immured. I was in a small, dark dungeon, although above 
ground. From the grated window I could discern a dim court- 
yard with buildings, and an arcade around it, in which was an 
armed soldier on guard. Within the cell the earthen floor 
seemed in movement by reason of the numerous black ants and 
other insects which covered it, while buzzing gnats, or, as they 
are there called, mosquitoes, by their continual stings rendered 
sleep impossible. The atmosphere, for it was in the month of 
March, was, even then, exceedingly hot, and but little air came into 
the prison. I was glad to keep my face against the bars of the 
small window, and watch the bats in the courtyard flitting hither 
and thither. The stars, glittering brightly in the sky, seen 
through the grated, unglazed aperture, alone seemed to speak 
of hope, and relieved me of despair. Shining clear above me 
was the North Star and King Charles's Wain I had so often 
watched, in happier days, in other lands. 

I had many reflections to occupy me. What had happened 
to Cynthia, I wondered ; did she know of, and lament, my ar- 
rest ? What had happened to Dalston, and where was St. Fray ? 
It was possible, and to be hoped, they had fled and were in / 
safety at Muxadabad, or even Chandernagore ; for once out of 1 
the Company's territory they were in no danger. f 

I threw myself at length upon the mean bed, and slept 
through utter weariness. At the first streak of dawn a gun wa$ * 
fired, which awoke me from my uneasy slumbers. Presently * I 
heard ray prison door unlocked, and a Gentoo entered. Ht ; •> 
brought my breakfast ; it was not luxurious, consisting only oik ' 
one large, red, earthenware jar of water, and one loaf of bread. 
Still I seized the water with the greatest joy, as, from the heat, 
my thirst was excessive, and I ate the bread, for I was exceed- • 

u 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 131 

ingly hungry. After this meal I made the best ablutions which 
I could effect from the remaining water, and I felt cooled and 
refreshed. 

Some little time after, the vivid rays of the sun had begun 
to gild the brick buildings opposite to my dungeon, and I 
judged it was about eight o'clock ; again my prison door was 
unlocked, this time by an English sergeant with a guard com- 
posed of Portuguese soldiers. He summoned me to accompany 
nim, telling me I was to appear before the mayor in the court 
of justice. 

"What is the charge against me, sergeant?" I inquired. 

" I have no account of that," he replied, " my orders are only 
to bring ye before the mayor; there is a common prosecutor 
who attends to the charges. Have ye been trying to buy and 
sell in the worshipful Company's marts ? If so, as I'm a Briton, 
they will send ye on ship board." > 

Closely guarded, I reached the court-house, which proved to 
be quite near at hand. I was placed in front of a portly gen- 
tleman in a crimson and gold-laced coat, a bag-wig, and a very 
crimson countenance, whom I presumed to be the worshipful 
mayor of Calcutta. Two attendants in green - and - gold em- 
broidered turbans, and coats reaching down to their ankles, 
stood behind his chair, holding great silver maces in their 
hands. 

A clerk of arraigns, in a gray suit, sat below the mayor, and 
he rose as I was placed by the sergeant at the bar of the court, 
and said, in a loud tone, 

" Nevill Ravensthorpe, you are indicted before the worshipful 
the Mayor of Calcutta upon the following charge, to wit, that 
you, being a lawful subject of his majesty King George II., 
have been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors in main- 
taining a traitorous correspondence with his enemies, for the 
which treasonable practices you were duly taken into custody 
at the house of Ravensthorpe, in the county of Gloucester. And 
whereas you effected your escape from the soldiers who were 
sent to arrest you, and have been found at large in the honor- 
able East India Company's chartered factory of Calcutta, you 
are now apprehended as an enemy of your sovereign, to be sent 
back to England, there to be delivered into proper custody." 

As this indictment came to a conclusion, I saw the sinister 



132 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

gaze of Giles Orme fixed upon me, from among several English- 
men who were standing or seated at the side of the mayor. I 
then, of course, recognized the quarter from which this informa- 
tion came. 

" How say you, Nevill Ravensthorpe f" inquired the mayor, 
pompously; "can you deny that you are the person implicated 
in these charges." 

I bowed and said I did not deny it, as I saw that in the 
presence of Orme any such denial was useless. 

" The second charge against you is, to wit, that you, being a 
sergeant, have deserted from Colonel Adlercron's regiment, and 
that you have taken service with the Nabob of Bengal without 
the worshipful Company's permission, and that you are in trea- 
sonable correspondence with the King's enemies, to wit, one Law 
of Lauriston, in the service of the King of France." 

This I vehemently denied ; I stated that I had purchased my 
discharge, though I had no papers with me to support my 
statement. 

They then did not scruple to try and cajole me, asking me on 
what mission Law had gone to Muxadabad, and what I knew of 
the nabob's secret intentions, and said that if I would make a 
clean breast of it I should obtain a free pardon; but when I 
truly declared I was not in the secrets of these men, they called 
me " an obstinate dog," " a spy of France," " a traitor," and 
much else, and ordered me to be taken back to my cell, and 
there to be retained until I could be embarked on shipboard, to 
be conveyed to England. 

I bowed to the mayor and assumed an air of haughty indif- 
ference, and I thought I saw in Giles Orme's keen eyes a gleam 
of triumph. I quietly followed the sergeant and guard to the 
fort, and again found myself locked into the prison where I 
had been lodged the night before. 

This cell has since been much spoken of in England, for it 
was the scene of the terrible tragedy known as the Black 
Hole. It was, in fact, the common prison of the fort, intended 
especially for the refractory soldiers of the small garrison, but 
also, as in my case, employed for other prisoners whom the 
powerful Company might incarcerate. 

I had returned with haughty steps to the prison, but when 
the bolt had heavily clamped in its socket and I was alone my" 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 133 

reflections were indignant enough. They had called me in 
open court " a French spy," " a deserter," " an arrant rogue," 
"a liar," " a vagabond," " a sorry knave ;" and my blood boiled 
with indignation to hear these epithets applied to myself. I 
was no spy, and no deserter. Their severity to me did not 
arise, I knew, wholly from my being a Jacobite, as many of the 
factors were of ruined royalist families themselves; but be- 
cause I had been seen in the company of Law, Dalston, and 
St. Fray, to whom such hard words might be more justly ap- 
plied, as they were, one and all, enemies to the Company. 

I longed to know what Cynthia felt and thought — that lady 
who was so near and yet so far off. I hoped and believed that 
she would seek me now that I was thus unfortunate. Then I 
thought Dalston would try and help me ; and if, after all, they 
sent me back to England — for death I had no fear; to die a 
year hence, even on a scaffold, seemed so remote a contingency 
that it needed no immediate thought, and the hope of leaving 
this cell for a ship seemed something of a cheering prospect. 

Some days passed. The solitude, the bad air, insufficient 
food, and the want of exercise were doing their work. I be- 
came very despondent, the more so, as day by day went by, 
arid still neither Lady Cynthia nor any of my other friends 
made any sign. Their forgetfulness cut me to the heart, and 
I longed to leave Bengal, come what would. I inquired of the 
sergeant, who was my jailer, 

" When shall I be put on board ship ?" 

" The fleet has sailed, and, though right glad should I be to 
see the back of your stockings, of course you must remain for 
ten months at least — if not a year." 

Ten months or a year in that dismal cell ! The sergeant, 
the only person I could converse with, was a 'churlish, bad- 
hearted lout, and took particular pleasure in spiting me, think- 
ing I had deserted to the French. 

The fleet sailed every December, and I knew that what he 
said was true, although I had hardly thought of it before. 

My accursed fate seemed to plunge me deeper and deeper 
into misfortune. To linger in this miserable prison, or some 
similar place, in this deadly climate for nearly a year! It 
seemed to me too unendurable. 

Occasionally, at night, my lodging was shared by a drunken 



134 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

soldier, or some man incarcerated for some small military of- 
fence; and so weary was I of my own sad reflections that I 
hailed the society of these criminals with a joy which changed 
into envy when my late companion in misfortune was marched 
away in the morning, and I still remained stagnating in the 
dense, dank heat, a prey to despairing thoughts. 

No word came from Law, Dalston, or the Lady Cynthia. I 
seemed abandoned by the whole world, and the knowledge that 
I was friendless, forsaken, and forgotten added to my melan- 
choly. 

One morning in the beginning of April I felt too ill to rise 
from my miserable couch. My head ached violently, and soon, 
though the heat was intense, I shivered with the cold ; and 
then my skin became violently hot, and my mind seemed to 
wander. I arose and rushed at the barred window ; I tore at 
the iron bars, but they did not give way ; I kicked and thumped 
at the door, but I only realized my own helplessness, as I heard 
a mocking sound of laughter outside. Exhausted, I threw my- 
self again upon the bed. Air was all I wanted, but as I shouted 
for air I heard again the mocking laughter outside my dungeon. 

Mosquitoes, with their petty, tyrannical annoyances, prevented 
my thoughts keeping a definite direction ; while again cold and 
hot fits returned, and, in fact, I was presently in a burning fe- 
ver. Only one thought could prominently stand forward in my 
mind — a prayer for one last look on Cynthia's face, and then 
death. 

I cannot recall the ensuing period ; I believe I became deliri- 
ous. I alternately conceived myself charging at the head of an 
army for reinstating the king over the water upon his throne. 
Then I was a mere private soldier in his army, shouldering a 
musket, unknown and unnoticed, though burning with loyal 
emotions. Then Cynthia only was before me, and I was chas- 
ing her amid ricefields and thickets of plantains; but as I 
seemed to catch her she proved to be one of Dalston's gazelle- 
eyed houris, black and gem-bedizened, with a pearl nose-ring 
and jingling anklets. Then I could neither think nor dream, 
and I became unconscious. 

The factors, I heard afterwards, not lost to all humanity, sent 
a barber, who bled me. They also sent me such food, medi- 
cine, and attendance as my desperate state required. For days 



PRIMUS IK INDI8. 135 

I lay between life and death ; but at length my youth and my 
Gloucestershire constitution came to my rescue; I was very 
weak, but still restored to consciousness, and able once more to 
realize my miserable position. 



CHAPTER XXIIL 

HOPS. 



Weak, miserable, imprisoned, as I was, it was still a joy to 
be again able to think. The air was stagnant, and I felt as in 
an oven, while mosquitoes hovered still about me, with their 
constant petty annoyances. I wandered from my bed to the 
barred window, and longed passionately for freedom, or even 
to be put upon chipboard. 

Where was Cynthia? Where was Dalston? Had I been 
abandoned by all the world ? and I began to recall bitterly all 
the reflections I had heard that friendships are generally found 
useless in the time of misfortune. 

Such property as was found in my tent at Nabobgunge, and 
my tent itself, had been seized by my jailers. My food in prison 
was but one loaf of bread a day, but I was permitted to beg 
from the passers-by, who, of their charity, sometimes relieved 
my necessities; still the belief that I was a deserter, and a 
French spy, steeled the hearts of the factors against me. 

One day as I rattled my money-box at the window, dressed 
in a ragged shirt and trousers, I noticed two ladies and the 
chaplain of the fort approaching. My heart beat wildly ; the 
elegance of one of these ladies, and the perfection of her dress 
and figure, left me not a minute in doubt. It was Cynthia and 
her sister, Mrs. Carey ; accompanying them was the chaplain's 
son, Lieutenant Bellamy by name, a handsome young officer, 
dressed in a red uniform with blue facings, and a gold-laced hat. 

"Madam," I heard the quavering voice of the white-haired 
old divine say, addressing one of the fair sisters, " the want 
and misery in our jails, both in England and here, is a matter 
of marvel to me, for, however guilty, the poor wretches in 
prison should not be allowed to rot from dirt, starvation, and 
disease, and, therefore, madam, I consider it a most laudable 



136 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

act of Christian charity for you to wish to visit and to succor 
the poor prisoners in this fort." 

They were now nearly facing my prison window, but, to my 
intense disappointment, turned and visited the opposite cell of 
a Gentoo prisoner. 

On their leaving it I heard young Bellamy say, " That rogue, 
one Hogben, has taken service with France ; such scurvy, ras- 
cally conduct deserves hanging." 

" Nay, sir," said the voice I knew so well, " 'tis false ; letters 
have come from Madras giving him an excellent character from 
Adlercron's regiment. He is for the king over the water," 
she whispered, " but that, Mr. Bellamy, should be no crime in 
your sight. I would speak with him alone." 

In one second Cynthia was at the barred window of my cell. 

14 1 dared not come before," she said, in a low tone, " but 
Mr. Dalston, who is at large, has bribed the guard to effect 
your escape ; should he fail (the times are very disturbed), I 
have interested Mr. Drake, the governor, and Captain Minchin, 
the commandant, in you, and hope that you may, through 
them, obtain your freedom." 

Cynthia and her party moved away. 

"In common humanity, Mr. Chaplain, that soldier should 
be moved to a more salubrious prison," I heard her say ; but 
the voice I loved so well died away in the distance. 

From that day the chaplain sent me daily wine and excellent 
food from his own table. Moreover, he several times visited 
me, and gave me much ghostly and spiritual comfort, but his 
Christianity was so flavored with Whiggism that I preferred 
his gifts to his theology. 

Nevertheless, after that angel visit of my dear lady I was a 
new man ; hope lived again ; I even felt patient and resigned. 
Day after day passed slowly, and yet no Dalston appeared. I 
feared his scheme had miscarried. The chaplain informed me 
that Cynthia and her family would shortly leave the settlement ; 
but though a rumor of the nabob attacking the fort was cir- 
culated by ignorant people, it was absurd ; the English had 
held that settlement a hundred years, and had never been at- 
tacked before. 

I waited, however, with confidence, for some change for the 
better in my fortunes. I even reflected with cheerfulness that 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 187 

I might have been incarcerated in a worse dungeon, as I could, 
from my small prison window, at least look out on the world. 
The court in which my prison was situated was the thorough- 
fare to the great warehouse and also to the court-house. I 
derived no small distraction from watching the people coming 
and going. As early as seven o'clock in the morning the 
senior and junior factors used to pass through, near my win- 
dow, and some would occasionally throw pence into the box I 
rattled to attract their attention. 

I used even to see the small, thin, aged figure of Giles Or me 
pass, dressed in a bob-wig and snuff-colored suit; but then I 
hid myself ; my pride revolted from begging from a man whom 
I knew to be my bitter enemy. 

I soon knew by sight and by name all the principal factors, 
such as Messrs. Manningham, Holwell, and the governor, Mr. 
Drake, and I could but envy that handsome youth, young 
Bellamy — who often passed in his gay uniform — especially 
when I reflected that he was free to see and to visit my adored 
lady, while I was dying by inches in jail from starvation, the 
evil climate, and sore illness. 

Facing my prison was another cell, exactly resembling mine, 
and also protected by a veranda. In this prison the Gentoo, 
Omichund, was lodged, the merchant whom I had seen cou- 
veyed to prison on that ill-starred day on which I had reached 
the settlement of Calcutta. It appeared that when he was first 
confined he refused to eat food or drink water, it being against 
the tenets of his religion to eat or drink anything except what 
had been prepared by people of his own caste or by himself. 
So far did he carry this prejudice that he nearly died. Gov- 
ernor Drake thereupon gave permission for him to cook for 
himself in the court of the prison. At early dawn, therefore, 
Omichund was let into the prison square guarded by a sentry ; 
he made a small fire on the ground, and upon this cooked 
some simple food ; he also drew water from a well. Through 
the leniency of the guard he was allowed often to come to my 
window and talk with me. His friends also came to see him 
and brought him food and other things. His imprisonment, 
unlike mine, was made as light as possible; this was, I dis- 
covered, because he was a man of wealth and much note among 
his own people. 



138 ' PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

I found an occasional alleviation of my wretchedness in con- 
versing with Omichand, who spoke our language fluently. I 
found he held doctrines such as were expounded by Plato, and 
that he entertained what seemed to me very sublime ideas as 
to the unity and universality of Deity ; while he believed in 
the continued existence of the individual soul, living in a suc- 
cession of bodies. He held that so long as the soul had any 
desire of personal existence, so long as it had any sins of the 
body to expiate, or desires to satisfy, so long would it be re- 
born in a body adapted to its aspirations. It might rise to be 
an angel in a superior world; it might sink to be an animal 
in this world, or a demon in a lower sphere ; but so long as it 
entertained desires of a personal character it would be reborn 
in a body liable to the decay or change necessarily appertain- 
ing to matter. If, however, it recognized truly in itself the 
.Great Soul of All, and desired only union with the One, con- 
temning all thoughts of self, the supreme tranquillity and 
happiness might be attained. He did not hope to accomplish 
this in his present life, but he trusted to become a Brahmin in 
his next transmigration; and so enjoy the opportunity of a 
closer knowledge of divine things. 

I recalled to mind my readings in Plato's " Phaedo " at Oxford, 
and I conceived a great respect for the Gentoo's religion. He 
told me that they had a vast number of old sacred books, 
many of which might only be read by the Brahmins. ' He 
suggested that I might be comforted in the next transmigra- 
tion for woes endured in the present. 

Yet, after all, the hopes of meeting Cynthia in a next trans- 
migration, and recognizing her, seemed too vague; I wanted 
her now. But I was somewhat inclined to agree with the 
Brahmin in respect to the miseries of life being the result, not 
only of acts in our present existences, but also in former lives. 
I could not believe that loyalty and love deserved ray present 
humiliation and misery; and I found satisfaction in the idea 
that my present disgrace had been merited by some sinful act 
in a former existence. He informed me that it was believed 
that a pure Brahmin could remember his former life ; and I 
endeavored to find consolation in striving to conceive my own 
previous existence. But I could think of nothing else than that 
I might have been one of the cavaliers who fell, fighting for 



PRtMUS IN iNDtS. 13ft 

King and church, at Marston Moor or Worcester; and that 
my present miserable life was the result of too happy a death 
then. 

But the tenets of his creed were not the only subjects on 
which the Gentoo conversed. He maintained that the Viceroy 
of Bengal would immediately march upon Calcutta and attack 
it, assisted by the French, under Law of Lauriston. 

He told me that the viceroy's father, Alverdi Khan, in his 
last words, had adjured him to expel the Europeans from 
India, because, as occupants of the soil, they were most dan- 
gerous and threatening in their continual aggrandizement; at 
all events, Alverdi Eban had recommended that the English 
should not be permitted to have any fortified places. 

Should Calcutta be attacked, what then ? I most feared 
that some evil might befall Cynthia, and for her sake I feared 
for Giles Orme. 

Omichund informed me also that the East India Company 
maintained a force of about five hundred soldiers, but that only 
some one hundred and seventy of them were Englishmen ; the- 
rest were Portuguese or half-castes. There were sufficient to 
enforce the orders of the company in respect to the exclusion 
of interlopers, though but a small body to offer resistance to 
the nabob, should his threatened advance take place. 

Omichund said also that Duplex and Law, both animated 
by the most undying hatred of the British and British trade, 
hoped to incite the viceroy (who was but a silly boy) to 
attack Calcutta; and that Law had privately visited Muxada- 
bad for this purpose. 

I did not myself believe such an attack likely. I thought 
that things would go on as they had done for the last hundred 
years, especially as the factors were prepared to release one 
called Kassendass. 

My thoughts had been so earnestly bent upon this hope of 
escape which Cynthia had held out to me, that from my prison 
window I had failed to remark that an unusual stir pervaded 
the settlement. Sunk in the apathy of despair, I ceased to 
notice that commotion distinctly existed in the European 
colony ; still in my prison court Moors and Gentoos were 
everywhere talking together in excited groups. The factors 
no more came regularly in the morning to their counting-house 



140 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

and storehouse, but Englishmen seemed at all hoars to dash 
past in a state of perturbation. 

I was so weakened by my long sickness, and by disappoint- 
ment in Dalston having failed me, that I lay upon the clay 
floor of my prison almost inclined to wish myself dead. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

WAR. THE DEFENCE OF CALCUTTA, 1756. 

I watched many days at my prison-bars in the hope of see- 
ing Dalston, and still more of seeing Cynthia, but neither 
came. 

I was aroused one day in the early morning by my locks 
and bars being undone, when two gentlemen, the one in a 
brown coat, and the other in a scarlet, entered my cell. They 
proved (as I afterwards discovered) to be Mr. Drake, the gov- 
ernor of the fort, and Captain Minchin, the commandant of 
the company's troops. 

I rose to receive them, and from old military habit, on 
receiving an officer, I stood upright to attention, and sa- 
luted. 

"He looks a well-built, soldierly fellow," said Captain Min- 
chin ; "can you handle a musket, my man?" 

A thrill of hope ran through me as I replied, " I had the 
honor of serving for over two years in Colonel Adlercron's 
regiment, and was sergeant of my company when I obtained 
my discharge." 

" The very thing we want ; we have consulted with the mayor 
about your case ; it seems that you are to be deported back to 
England, firstly, as being suspected in being concerned in illicit 
trading, against the honorable company's laws ; secondly, that 
his worship the mayor received information that you were an 
escaped criminal, accused of high-treason. 

"At all events," continued the governor, "we are now pre- 
pared to condone any old offences against the king if you will 
now fight for him, and enlist in the service of the honorable 
company here." 

" I shall be proud and happy so to do," I replied, thanking 



1 PRIMUS IN INDIS* 141 

Heaven in my heart for this unexpected and most joyful deliv- 
erance. 

" Then, Captain Minchin," said Mr. Drake, " you had better 
take possession of the man, let him be attested in due form, 
and exchange that Moorish dress for the British uniform." 

" I will do so, Mr. Governor," replied Captain Minchin ; 
"follow me, my man." And with exultation in my heart I 
saluted the governor, as he hastily departed in one direction, 
and I followed Captain Minchin in another. 

I saw at once that something unusual had happened. The 
courtyard and surrounding piazzas of the fort were full of 
bustle. European and half-caste soldiers and Gentoo servants 
were cleaning arms, carrying stores, or hurrying from place to 
place. The captain took me to the office of the troops, entered 
my name, and ordered me to be supplied with a uniform which 
had belonged to some soldier who had fallen a victim to the 
effects of arrack or of the climate. 

I enjoyed the delicious luxury of a bath by causing a native 
water-carrier to sluice me from his pigskin of water in a corner 
of the barracks. I dressed and breakfasted with my new com- 
rades, and I was then put in possession of the facts of the case. 

Suraja Dowla, the young Nabob of Bengal, had marched from 
Muxadabad with a large array. The English factory of Cos- 
simbazaar had surrendered to him. It was reported that he 
was now marching on the forts of Chandernagore and Chin- 
surah. 

If he were not checked by the French and Dutch, there were 
only some one hundred and seventy English soldiers in Cal- 
cutta, including the militia, composed of the company's factors 
and junior writers, to oppose him. There were, however, some 
three hundred and forty Portuguese and other Christians in 
the regular garrison and militia. 

I had heard this alarming intelligence from my new com- 
panions in arms, although I may say our martial spirit was so 
great that, whatever the odds, we looked upon defeat as impos- 
sible. 

But that day my thoughts received another and far more 
pleasing turn, for I perceived Mistress Orme riding a gray barb 
and accompanied by several officers and gentlemen. She wore 
the same French habit, adorned with silver, the same small 



142 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

beaver hat, her hair was curled and powdered as in Gloucester- 
shire. Her steed also, as of old, was adorned with red ribbons. 
On observing me, she separated herself from her escort, and 
approached rae. I stood by the side of her horse, after I had 
bowed and kissed the small hand which she had held out to 
me. 

" Nevill, I am leaving, but I could not go without wishing 
you a farewell, which may, I fear, prove a final one." 

" Nay, madam 1" cried I, " say no such melancholy words ; 
fear not but that we shall beat off these Moors, who are so 
bold as to threaten us." 

"There are many who think that this fort cannot be de- 
fended ; be that as it may," she said, u I for one am abandon- 
ing this settlement ; but, ah, Nevill ! I leave my whole heart 
behind, for I am deserting yon, my father, and my dear sister, 
Mrs. Carey." 

" Madam, I can but rejoice for your own sweet sake, that 
you are going; where do you take refuge?" 

" I cannot tell you ; we have not decided. We may go to 
the English ships at the mouth of this river, or accept M. Re- 
nault de St. Germain's protection at Chandernagore. How 
gladly would I stay to share your dangers, if my duty did not 
call me elsewhere. Should you be able to help my father or 
sister, remember that thus you can best serve me." 

" All that is dear to you is dear to me. Madam, should it 
be in my power as a simple private to help any one, you may 
command me." 

" Ah, Nevill ! I would not leave, believe me, except that Mr. 
Orme thinks I shall be useful to his wife and children. My 
stepmother has lived in seclusion all her life, and is quite un- 
fitted to act for herself in such times as these." 

Mistress Orme looked very unhappy and deeply anxious as 
she bade me farewell. With my eyes blinded with tears, I 
again kissed her hand. In the uncertain future of the settle- 
ment I could but be glad that she was leaving, but still it was 
terrible to part. I watched her ride away and rejoin her com- 
panions, knowing that in this time of danger it was doubtful 
when we should meet again. 

One of the junior factors, then in the militia, Buchanan by 
name, told me that Giles Orme was against defending the set* 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 143 

tlement. He said that though Orrae had little patriotic spirit, 
he himself would not leave, as he could not abandon all his 
property. But I had little time for melancholy reflections, as, 
quickly after, the drums beat the call to parade, and I took my 
place in the ranks. The small body of European troops which 
had been originally raised by the company in 1749 for the de- 
fence of the fort were trained as artillerymen. The scanty 
auxiliaries in the militia had received scarcely any training 
whatever, but there were evidently fine young fellows among 
them of the same spirit which had inspired the indomitable 
Clive when he exchanged the pen for the sword. 

After the inspection, Captain Minchin, finding that I was 
perfectly competent to act as drill-sergeant, gave me the rank 
of corporal and set me to drilling the militiamen in -marching 
and counter-marching, the manual and platoon exercises, and in 
firing by platoons ; and, as they were exceedingly willing, they 
made good progress. But the Portuguese and half-castes dis- 
played less ardor. We obtained some shelter from the blazing 
sun under the piazzas for such of our practices as could be per- 
formed there. Meanwhile gun-drill was being carried on. 

It was now the early part of June, the hottest period of the 
year, when all nature seemed anxiously looking for the relief 
of the regular rains. Intelligence arrived that the nabob, with 
an army of many thousands, had invested the forts of Chan- 
dernagore and Chinsurah ; but that the French and Dutch had 
purchased immunity from attack by many lacs of rupees, and 
that he was on the march to Calcutta. 

On hearing this it was determined to defend the fortifications 
which stretched around Calcutta. The precaution, however, 
was neglected of blowing up the houses and buildings which 
overlooked the fort in case we should be driven back to it. On 
the 16th of June, 1756, the enemy commenced the attack from 
the north side of the town, but some guns at a battery called 
Perrin's Point, well served by some of the company's veterans, 
kept them at bay. 

They then advanced in large numbers from the east, and 
commenced a brisk fire with cannon, musketry, and matchlocks, 
upon our outposts, which were by no means in good repair. 

I had been rapidly advanced to the rank of sergeant, and 
with a platoon of the militia we lined the breastworks of the 



Tw 



144 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

town-wall of Calcutta, and I found myself, at last, in all the 
terrible realities of war. Amid the groves and gardens and 
huts of the suburbs the enemy advanced, and the blaze of fire- 
arras was incessant. However, although with parched tongues, 
cracked lips, and suffering greatly from the intense heat, we 
maintained a return fire. And admirable was the spirit dis- 
played by the young traders and clerks ; with fierce, hard-set 
faces, they loaded and fired; while an exclamation or two 
showed that they were eager to get to the bayonet's point 
Behind us we could see that all the native town was in commo- 
tion, though the inhabitants speedily learned to keep close to 
their houses. 

Sheltered as we were by the parapet, the English losses were 
but few considering the tremendous fire which was brought to 
bear upon us. But one or two fine young traders fell with 
ghastly wounds, and some of the Portuguese; indeed, the 
whole scene became hell. Dense clouds of smoke hung over 
the trees and houses, flashes of flame continually darted on all 
sides. The booming of heavy guns, banging, tearing, shriek- 
ing, pattering of small arms and bullets, and the shrieks and 
groans of the wounded, all combined to create an uproar worthy 
of a Pandemonium. Then the heat and dust became stifling, 
while powder and dirt begrimed faces and hands, which we had 
no leisure to clean. Notwithstanding the energy with which 
we stuck to our guns, we could see the swarthy countenances 
and red or white turbans of our assailants ever drawing nearer 
and nearer, and seeming more dense in numbers. 

At length, after several hours of continued firing, it became 
painfully evident that the settlement of Calcutta, itself, could 
not be defended. One outpost after another had to be aban- 
doned ; the artillerymen spiking the guns as they retired. My 
party was ordered to fall back with the rest. The last battery 
which was deserted was one held by Mr. Holwell, who afterwards 
had command. It was situated at about three hundred yards 
from the fort, opposite the mayor's court, which I knew so 
well. 

As we retreated, I thanked Heaven that, whatever was going 
to happen, I had secured the brief, exquisite interview with 
Cynthia. 

So far, if I had obtained no good-fortune in love, I had, at 




PRIMUS IN IXDIS. 145 

least, found it in»war, for I was untouched. Of course, though 
a sergeant, I did not carry a halberd, but a musket and bayonet, 
like the other soldiers. And I had seen that my firing had 
done some execution ; so often had I fired, that the barrel of 
my gun was almost too hot to hold. 

The retreat of the English into the fort had become general. 
Some three or four thousand British and Portuguese men, 
women, and children were huddled into a confined space, and, 
for a time, troops and fugitives became mingled in a disor- 
ganized mass. There seemed to be no one in command; I 
listened in vain for any orders, and I could see no one in au- 
thority. 

After two days' fighting, on the 18th of June, the settlement 
of Calcutta itself was in the hands of the enemy. It was de- 
termined to make our last stand in the fort itself, which stood 
on the river-bank. I had kept together the small party of 
militia I commanded. I shall never forget the shock of indig- 
nation we all felt when a fresh piece of evil news reached us. 
We heard that Mr. Drake, the governor, Captain Minchin, the 
commandant, Mr. Macket, Captain Grant, and others of impor- 
tance, had had the baseness to desert their commands, and go 
off in boats to the ships below Calcutta. I heard Mr. Drake 
called_ a d — d Quaker, but that seemed no excuse for his base 
abandonment of us. I made inquiries as to whether Giles 
Orme had gone, but I found he was still in the fort, but of 
Mistress Orme I could hear no tidings ; I hoped she had left, 
but some said she was still in the fort. 

Signals were made to the ships to send us boats, but with 
extraordinary cowardice and selfishness they abandoned us to 
our fate ; for undoubtedly there was time for all to escape if 
only boats had been sent from the ships. 

Captain Young of the Dodolay is related to have especially 
dissuaded his companions from the attempt to rescue us, while 
the ship Prince George, which had been up the river, and 
had intended to drop down to our rescue, unfortunately ran 
ashore. 

Mr. Holwell, who was not professionally a soldier, but who 
had exhibited fine military qualities, was asked to take the com- 
mand, and the defence of the fort was organized as rapidly as 
possible. So badly was it prepared, that fifty new cannons 

10 



146 punnrs nr nrois. 

were actually lying dismounted beneath the fortifications, which 
would have been most valuable to us. 

I was now appointed to command a party in a bastion oppo- 
site the English church. Of this the enemy had taken posses- 
sion ; whence, from the neighboring houses, they maintained 
a brisk fire. We endeavored to expose ourselves as little as 
possible, and by Mr. Hoi well's orders the brick parapets were 
strengthened and elevated by bales of broadcloth and cotton. 
Behind these we carried on the unequal conflict. It was des- 
perate work ; my clothes and hat had become torn by bullets, 
but still I escaped. Meanwhile the horrors of fire had been add- 
ed to the intense heat and the dreadful sounds of the furious 
strife. From the church and from the neighboring streets the 
brisk fire of the enemy had set in flames the storehouse in the 
fort. Therefore the dense clouds of its conflagration were 
added to the already suffocating smoke of battle. Altogether 
the scene was appalling, but still the small British force, de- 
serted by its commanders, kept up the battle. Mr. Holwell's 
gallant bearing and ardent activity had great influence in sus- 
taining our spirits. I felt that, although I had seen the last of 
my love, the fierce rage of bloodshed had taken possession of 
my soul, and I could welcome the death of a soldier. 

The defence of Calcutta had been impossible from the begin- 
ning, but we fought bravely for five days. 

By the afternoon of the 20th of June many of the remaining 
garrison were killed, all were exhausted, and some were drunk 
with arrack. 

The fort surrendered to the Nabob of Muxadabad, but even 
after the flag of truce was raised shots were fired. Some of 
the garrison attempted to escape by the western gate, which 
opened towards the river, but were driven back. The Moors 
now swarmed in, but they did not betake themselves to slaugh- 
ter, but to plunder; demanding such matters as watches, 
buckles, besides all the money they could find. 

Mr. Hoi well gave up his sword to one of the nabob's officers. 
Suraja Dowla, himself, by the northern gate, then entered the 
fort in his Titter. After informing Mr. Hoi well that treasure, 
not bloodshed, was what he wanted, and promising him, " on 
the word of a soldier," that he and all the English prisoners 
should be well treated, the nabob returned to his camp. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 147 



CHAPTER XXV. 

WOE TO THE VANQUISHED. 

The fort had surrendered, and we were now at the mercy 
of the Moors. As long as the danger and excitement had last- 
ed, which was for about a week, I had bodily strength sufficient 
to do my duty ; but afterwards the reaction of over-fatigue set 
in. My distemper returned, I had a fever fit, then the ague 
shook ray bones, and I lay under the parapet of the citadel as 
one dead. I could not move, but I could, unfortunately, at first, 
still think ; what had become of Giles Orrae, of Mrs. Carey, and 
of Cynthia ? There was a report that the last had so long de- 
layed her departure that she also had been present during the 
siege. 

I became unconscious, and when I came to myself it was 
early morning; while near me I saw several naked corpses, 
which had been stripped by camp-followers. 

I looked around me from my elevated position. I perceived 
that the storehouse was standing, but only as a mass of charred 
ruins, although the courthouse still remained uninjured. But 
what attracted my notice was a procession of guards, banners, 
horsemen, richly dressed Moors, and people being carried in 
litters, and they all were making their way to the centre of the 
fort* 

It is possible that I might, at this time, have made my es- 
cape, but, while viewing my novel surroundings, a Gen too ad- 
dressed me, and bade me accompany him. I did so, and soon 
found myself in the presence of Omichund, my late fellow- 
prisoner. 

" I have been summoned by the prince," said he, " and 
must attend his court. Follow me, and no harm shall befall 
you." 

I looked in the dark face of the Gentoo, and I saw, now that 
the cause of his master, the Nabob of Muxadabad, was success* 



148 primus in nrois. 

ful, that my late fellow-prisoner was, beyond measure, exultant 
and triumphant. 

I made my way through a crowd of assembled people. The 
Gentoo's body-servants cleared a passage for us, and we reached 
a spot near my late prison, and never shall I forget the singu- 
lar spectacle which there met my view. 

For the first time I found myself in the presence of an Ori- 
ental potentate and his court. At any other time I should have 
been much struck with the gay spectacle, for the dress of the 
Moors is handsome ; even as it was I could not fail to glance 
at their jewelled arms, glittering scimitars, silk-embroidered 
robes, and many-tinted turbans; also my eye rested upon the 
prince himself, the only figure seated. : His throne was a mag- 
nificent carpet, worked in gold ; and his robe was made of a 
singularly beautiful purple and silver brocade. He was young 
and boyish-looking, his face not darker in hue than that of an 
Italian, and I thought the expression of his countenance weak, 
but I did not consider it cruel, though there was somewhat of 
an appearance of callousness in it. So much for the gallant 
scene of the Moorish court ; behind it was a deep throng of 
Gentoos and other spectators, clothed only in white linen. 

Bat in an open space, standing before the prince, I was 
equally amazed and grieved to see twenty-two of my own coun- 
trymen and one gentlewoman. They formed a most horrible 
contrast to the gayly dressed Moors. 

Never, to my dying day, shall I forget the extraordinary and 
ghastly appearance of those people. They looked as if the 
grave had been opened and so many corpses had been disin- 
terred. What added to their appalling and deadly appearance 
was that they were but semi-clothed and their hair dishevelled ; 
while gentlemen and the lower fellows appeared in one common 
fate of dirt, disorder, and disarray. I recognized, as mere 
shadows of their former selves, sweet Mistress Carey, Mr. Hol- 
well (the late gallant defender of the fort), Giles Orme, look- 
ing more dead than alive, Mr. Walcott, Mr. Burnett, and other 
factors I had often seen from the prison window. There also 
was my enemy the mayor — no longer red-faced — and the ser- 
geant who had exercised his authority towards me in no gen- 
tle way. 

{leavens! By what evil alchemy, what magic, what sur- 



PRIMUS IN INDIB. 149 

prising turn of fortune's wheel, had my late persecutors been 
transformed into such weird, ghostly, miserable figures ? I felt 
like a person suffering from a nightmare. 

What could the spectacle mean ? My eyes were riveted on 
the gentle countenance of the solitary lady, Cynthia's sister, 
Mrs. Carey, a girl of only some sixteen summers. She had the 
same erect carriage, the same quiet dignity, as my dear lady, 
but, being country-born, she was darker in complexion, though 
still an exceedingly beautiful brunette. I could not but be 
shocked to see her among that frightful crew, and in a place 
so little suited to her tender years or her sex ; and how fer- 
vently I hoped that my dear mistress had, in time, found some 
place of safety ! Her fate I knew not, and for her I was a 
very coward. 

The prince, observing the very weak condition of Mr. Hol- 
well, apparently ordered a seat to be brought for him. The 
only thing at hand seemed to be a great ledger, which had been 
in the office of the fort, and upon that he took his place. 

Mr. Hoi well seemed to be making a long narration in the 
Moorish tongue; the nabob appeared to take little notice of 
his story, which was possibly somewhat incoherent. I have 
since heard that Mr. Holwell was complaining that all the Eng- 
lish prisoners had been barbarously treated. The prince pres- 
ently stopped him short, telling him that he had been informed 
that there was treasure to a very considerable value secreted in 
the fort, and that if he did not disclose it he must expect no 
mercy. Mr. Holwell replied that he knew of no such treasure ; 
and then began to remind him of his assurance the day before, 
that on the word of a soldier no hurt should befall either him- 
self or his friends. To this remonstrance the nabob paid no 
more regard than he had bestowed upon the previous com- 
plaints. Again he demanded to be informed of the situation 
of the treasure ; and, finding his inquiries vain, he ordered a 
high officer to march Mr. Holwell away. 

A number of matchlock men conducted him from the na- 
bob's presence. Among them was one tall, finely bedizened, 
black-bearded Moor, with a great axe over his shoulder ; and I 
feared that the late commander of our garrison was to be forth- 
with beheaded. 

After Mr. Holwell had been led away I saw that Mrs. Carey 



-*-»* 



150 PRIMUS IN INDIA. 

was brought before tbe nabob. I tried to press forward, bat 
was unable to do so, yet, in spite of the crowd, I was able to per- 
ceive that the young potentate looked at her curiously, while a 
Moor, magnificently attired in a coat of cloth of gold, appeared 
also to glance at her carefully. This officer was a man of statelier 
presence and more astute features than the nabob, but I ob- 
served that there was a craftiness in ttte expression of his face, 
which was not otherwise wanting in dignity. My conceptions 
were justified, for this was the famous Meer Jaffier, who after- 
wards betrayed Suraja Dowla to Olive and the British at Plassy, 
and obtained as a recompense the throne of Bengal. Mrs. 
Carey was in her turn led away strongly guarded. I observed 
then that Mr. Walcott, a leading merchant, Mr. Burdett, and 
Giles Orme were brought forward before the prince. They 
were ordered to disclose the spot where the English treasures 
were concealed. They declared, and with truth, that there was 
no such spot in the fort ; after which they were marched by 
soldiers from the conqueror's presence. 

After this the remaining English there present were allowed 
to go free; among them were such small fry as the prison- 
sergeant, and others of his class, several ship's-mates, and such 
like. 

So far I had been but a looker-on at this scene, which I bare- 
ly understood, but suddenly I felt two powerful guards in 
Moorish dress seize me by both arms and push me before the 
prince. I stood facing him ; he raised his large dark eyes and 
looked at me curiously. I still wore my uniform of a private. 
He spoke a few words in his own tongue, which I did not un- 
derstand. The aged Gentoo, Omichund, also said a few words, 
I hoped in my favor, and then the soldiers led me away from 
the prince's presence — to death, for all I knew. I was evident- 
ly still a prisoner, because men with loaded guns walked before 
and behind me. They conducted me past the mayor's court I 
knew so well ; beyond it I perceived, seated on a rude convey- 
ance, drawn by bullocks, Giles Orme, Mr. Holwell, Mr. Walcott, 
and Mr. Burdett, and I was told to mount into the cart with 
them. 

I understood soon from the conversation of my companions 
that we were going to be carried to Muxadabad into perpetual 
imprisonment ; at which they seemed greatly distressed. This 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 151 

was an inland city, the capital of the Prince of Bengal. The 
factors appeared disappointed at not having received their lib- 
erty, and said it was due to the malevolence of Omichund. In 
this slow and jolting equipage we travelled three miles* At 
first we were driven through the most populous streets of Cal- 
cutta, and the people in the settlement watched us with pity. 
I felt sick and weak, but was not so ill as my companions, who 
looked more like corpses than living men, and their dress was 
still in the greatest and most unseemly disarray. At the 
end of our journey, judging from the number of tents and 
soldiers we perceived, we concluded that we had reached the 
enemy's camp. We were ordered to alight at a tent so small as 
almost to be incapable of containing five people. 

On dismounting, my fellows in misfortune were manacled in 
heavy irons, but, though I was the youngest and strongest of 
the party, they, for some unaccountable reason, allowed me to 
remain unfettered. I was quite at a loss to think why I should 
be placed among the Moors' captives. The factors had offended 
the ruler of that country, moreover they believed themselves to 
be the victims of Omichund's private resentment ; but except 
for my usual untoward destiny, I could not imagine why I should 
be dragged prisoner to Muxadabad. 

My fellow-captives bore their terrible position with great 
fortitude, though Giles Orme was beyond measure distressed, 
and wept ; and when I reflected that that handsome young lady, 
Mrs. Carey, was his daughter, I understood his great anguish of 
mind; moreover, he seemed uncertain as to Mistress Patty's 
and his wife's fates. 

We all had cause for fear ; the Moors of India are a semi- 
barbarous people, capable of acts of great inhumanity, while 
Suraja Dowla himself bore the character of being beyond meas- 
ure cruel and merciless. My companions froze my blood by 
telling me that the twenty-three people I had seen were all who 
survived from the tragedy enacted in the dungeon afterwards 
known as the Black Hole. I learned with dismay that Mistress 
Carey had been given by the nabob to his general, Meer JaflQer. 
Captain Carey was dead. They told me also that no one knew 
where Cynthia was, but that she had left Calcutta before the 
siege. 

After sunset we tried to resign ourselves to sleep, but the 



152 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

crowded state of the tent, the clanking of chains, and the heat 
would have prevented our reposing, except that we were all so 
fatigued that at length we slept from sheer exhaustion. After 
some time I was awakened by hearing what seemed a scratch- 
ing noise on the canvas of our tent I also heard a voice say- 
ing my name in a whisper ; " Nevill !" said this voice, " Nevill !" 
At first I thought I was dreaming, hut at length I went outside 
the tent, and found myself in the presence of Law of Lauriston. 
I was so surprised that I uttered a cry of astonishment. " Si- 
lence !" said Law, " let no one know I am in this camp. We 
have settled the English this time," he cried, in a hitter, exulting 
way ; " at last my defeats in Madras are revenged ! However, 
I did not come to talk politics with you, hut to speak about 
your own affairs." 

We stood nnder the clear, cloudless starlight, the sentries on 
guard were sleeping on the ground ; they raised themselves on 
their elbows, and watched our interview. Some few words ad- 
dressed to them in their own tongue by Law made them re- 
sume their position of slumber, and leave us undisturbed. 

" Nevill," said the French commander, " is it possible that 
I see you wearing the uniform of this peddling company of 
merchants ? When I saw you don the weeds of the service of 
the Elector of Hanover I thought you had reached the lowest 
pitch of degradation, but for a man of spirit and honor to serve 
the East India Company ! Good God !" 

They talk of men who command their destiny; but I was 
not in that roll ; I seem but the poor shuttlecock of fate ; and 
I was driven hither and thither without will or purpose of my 
own. I was weary of existence, and but for one dear being I 
should gladly be rid of a life too burdensome to endure. 

" Tell me, Law, for God's sake ! where is Mistress Orrae V y 
cried I. 

" I do not know. Heaven grant she is safe ! Nevill," said 
Law, " revenge yourself upon your enemies, take service un- 
der me, and for France, and help to make an end of these hate- 
ful and too successful English traders, and help to drive them 
from India." 

" I cannot," I replied. " I make no reflections on your con- 
duct ; you are a Scotchman, an exile ; you have seen the ruth- 
less barbarities of the Hanoverian soldiery exercised against 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 153 

your fellow-countrymen, and, still more, against your country- 
women. Every drop of blood in your heart has been turned 
to gall, but I, although I have been unfortunate, and have no 
cause to love the present king, still less this company of mer- 
chants, I cannot go over to the French. There is something 
in my nature which renders that impossible." 

" Half-hearted, wretched boy I" cried Law, bitterly, " yon are 
like the rest of them ; you would run with the hare and the 
hounds. If it were not at the request of Lady Cynthia, would 
it be worth helping so soulless a youth ; who is neither for King 
James nor King George ; neither for the English nor the French ; 
and who is not even for himself." 

" Do you wish to put an affront on me, sir ?" cried I, furious- 
ly; "I never asked your help and assistance! If fortune per- 
secutes me unremittingly, I can bear it. I make no reflections 
on your conduct, but I am, above all, a Briton ; and I will never 
serve the King of France. Never 1" 

Law of Lauriston laughed. 

" I perceive you are more ready to suffer for the White 
Cockade than to serve it." 

" The cause of the White Cockade is lost. It were better 
to join the present establishment," said I. 

" The present happy establishment, you should say ! Look 
at the smoke rising from Calcutta in flames ; in Bengal, at least, 
the cause of King George has been overthrown. Yes, and thank 
God it has been ruined and by me ! and will never be re-estab- 
lished ! Although you all fought valiantly for the Company, you 
must perceive its cause, like that of the White Cockade, is also 
lost." 

" I know that the factory and settlement are in ruins." 

" And shall never be restored," said Law. " I offer you to 
accompany me to-night to Chandernagore. I hope to God that 
there we may find Mistress Orme in safety. You shall be my 
lieutenant, or I will get you placed at the nabob's court in a 
position of wealth and dignity befitting Lady Cynthia's humble 
servant and your own education." 

I was, for a minute, staggered by his offer. I knew it was 
no vain promise he was making me. The British interest was, 
for the present, apparently ruined. 

" I cannot serve under the French, nor under the prince— the 



154 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

enemy of the English," I at length said. " I know you mean 
to be my friend." 

" But understand, sir, I am your friend no more. I hope you 
may find both favor and fortune with your most noble friends 
the senior factors of Calcutta." 

He departed abruptly. The darkness of night seemed to 
swallow him up, and he left me to my reflections — which were 
bitter enough. I was the most solitary of mortals. I had 
quarrelled with the man I most admired and respected in the 
world ; and I had thrown in my lot with.a set of London citizens 
and money-grubbing traders, who, as a body, I heartily despised. 
I had elected to go with them into a dangerous and, perhaps, 
perpetual imprisonment. I had thrown away my last hope of 
rescue from captivity, while perhaps I had lost my only chance 
of seeing sweet Mistress Orme again, and my only prospect of 
being her protector in this time of war and danger. 

"Law!" I cried, seeking him in the darkness; but I heard 
the sound of his horse galloping away. It was too late to 
change even if I would have done so. I recovered my momentary 
weakness, and thought of my honor as a Briton and a gentleman. 

After all, I was a Ravensthorpe of Ravensthorpe ; ray mother 
was a Mordaunt of Hall ; my ancestors had fought at Cressy 
and Poictiers ; one had sailed with Drake, another had raised 
the country to fight the Armada. I could not serve the French 
against the English ! It was impossible — perish the thought ! 
I would sooner rot in chains in the prison of Muxadabad for 
the rest of my life. 

Still I was distracted with anxiety about Mistress Orme. Was 
she also, like her sister, in the power of the Moors ? If I had 
escaped with Law, I might have helped them, but as a prisoner 
I could do nothing for either of these two ladies. 

Morning dawned, and the great camp was soon all astir. 
Then the guard, in no very courteous manner, awakened the 
poor merchants in the tent, and we were informed we were at 
once to begin our weary journey. 

Mr. Holwell, pitying Mr. Orme's anxiety, and still having 
some influence, obtained permission that a letter by messenger 
should be sent to Mistress Carey at Muxadabad, where she was 
to have been taken, and also that another man should go to 
Chandernagore to seek Mr. Orme's family. To obtain these 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 155 

favors, a large money reward was promised anil a bribe of five 
pieces of gold was paid down. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 

MR. .HOLWELL's NARRATIVE. 



When the moment for departure arrived my companions 
were again placed upon the bullock-cart, on which we had trav- 
elled the night before, while a finely caparisoned horse was pro- 
vided for me to ride. The poor factors were treated with great 
insolence by the guard, although they behaved to me with 
marked deference. 

On reaching the river-bank I found a gilded state-barge had 
been provided for me; and yet the luckless old merchants 
were, we learned, to perform the journey of thirteen days in 
an open boat, unprotected from the weather. 

After embarking in my splendid vessel, I discovered, from 
inquiries I made of the servants, that I was being conveyed to 
Muxadabad by order of the Gentoo Omichund. I then begged 
to be taken down the river to my own countrymen at Fulta, 
but this the people answered that they dared not do, as their 
orders were to carry me inland. 

That night our boats were moored near to a village. I was 
permitted to visit my fellow-prisoners and allowed to take them 
some luxuries, such as a dish of tea, some snuff, and a bottle of 
rum. 

I attempted to conciliate Mr. Orme by speaking to him with 
great courtesy, but he answered me so sullenly, and seemed so 
ill in body and so distracted in mind, that I entered into con- 
versation with Mr. Holwell. He was a most gallant, courteous 
gentleman, and from him I received the following extraordinary 
account of his imprisonment and escape from the Black Hole. 
It was the more interesting to me as that dungeon was the one 
in which I passed so many weary months. 

" After I had given up my sword to the Prince of Bengal," 
said Mr. Holwell, " he assured me that no harm should come 
to any of us, but that we must be merely secured for the night, 
because the lower officers of bis army were much incensed 



156 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

against us, and would certainly do us an injury if we were left 
at large. 

" When the nabob had given his orders and departed, all the 
prisoners who were the survivors of the garrison, or remainder 
of the fugitives of Calcutta, were ordered to sit down under 
the piazza, near your old prison, and I was among them. Some 
four hundred or five hundred men, with lighted matches to 
their guns, were drawn up in front of us. We were then or- 
dered to go into your wretched dungeon, and the Moors, with 
drawn sabres and pointed guns, forced us in." 

" The place was suffocating for one," I exclaimed. 

"But," continued Mr. Holwell, the crowd pressed us onward 
to the dreadful place, and we were forced into it by the weap- 
ons of our conquerors. In common with others, I had been, 
compelled to give up my musket and bayonet, and I could 
only retreat with the rest. Picture to yourself," he continued, 
" the situation of a hundred and forty-six wretches, exhausted 
by continual fatigue and action, crammed together in a cube of 
eighteen feet, on a close, sultry night in Bengal. 

" What must ensue appeared to me in lively and dreadful 
colors the instant I cast my eyes around and saw the size and 
situation of the room. Many unsuccessful attempts were made 
to force the door, for having only our hands to work with, and 
the door opening inward, all endeavors were vain and fruitless. 

" I endeavored to bribe an old Jemmantdaar (or Indian un- 
der-officer) with two thousand rupees to separate the prisoners 
into two parties; but, making inquiries, he said that no one 
dared to wake the prince, and that it could only be done by 
his orders. 

" Profuse perspiration, then raging thirst, were the first ac- 
companiments to this awful imprisonment of a multitude in 
my old solitary dungeon. 

"Various expedients were thought of to give more room 
and air. They put off their clothes, they stooped down and 
rose up together; several weakly wretches being trodden to 
death or suffocated in the operation. 

" Before nine o'clock," continued Mr. Holwell, " every man's 
thirst grew intolerable, and respiration difficult. Many insults 
were used to the guard, to provoke them to fire in upon us. 
Now everybody, excepting those situate in and near the win- 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 157 

dows, began to grow outrageous, and many delirious. i Water ! 
water !' became the general cry, and the old Jemmantdaar, be- 
fore mentioned, taking pity on us, ordered the people to bring 
some skins of water. This was what I dreaded. I foresaw it 
would prove the ruin of the small chance left to us, and essayed 
many times to speak to him privately, to forbid its being 
brought, but the clamor was so loud it became impossible. 
The water appeared. Words cannot paint the universal agita- 
tion and raving the sight of it threw us into. 

" Until the water came I had myself not suffered much from 
thirst, which instantly grew excessive. We had no means of 
conveying it into the prison but by hats forced through the 
bars, and thus myself, Mr. Coles, and Ensign Scott, notwith- 
standing the pains they suffered from their wounds, supplied 
them as fast as possible. Though we brought full hats within 
the bars, there ensued such violent struggles, and frequent con- 
tests to get at it, that, before the water reached the lips of any 
one, there would be scarcely a small teacnpful left in them. 

" How shall I give a conception of what I felt at the cries 
and ravings of those who, in the remoter parts of the prison, 
could not entertain a probable hope of obtaining a drop, many 
forcing their passage from the farther end of the room, press- 
ing down those in their way who had less strength, and tramp- 
ling them to death. 

" From about nine to near eleven I sustained this cruel scene 
and painful situation, still supplying them with water, though 
my legs were almost broken with the weight against them. By 
this time I myself was near pressed to death, and my two com- 
panions,- with Mr. William Parker, who had forced himself into 
the window, really were so. 

" For a great while they preserved a respect and regard for 
me, more indeed than I could well expect, our circumstances 
considered ; but now all distinction was lost. My friend Bail- 
lie, Messrs. Jinks, Beverley, Buchanan, Simpson, and others for 
whom I had a real esteem and affection, had for some time 
been dead at my feet, and were now trampled upon by every 
corporal or common soldier, who, by the help of more robust 
constitutions, had forced their way to the window, and held 
fast by the bars over me, till at last I became so pressed and 
wedged up I was deprived of all motion, 



158 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

" Concluding that I must resign life, I retired from the win- 
dow into the crowded interior, but was at once seized with in- 
tense pains in the breast, palpitation of the heart, and difficulty 
of breathing. Unable to bear the pains, I made a dash at one 
of the windows, obtained a place in the third rank from it, then 
seized a bar and pulled myself into the second rank. 

" In a few moments the pain, palpitation, and difficulty of 
breathing ceased, but my thirst continued intolerable. I called 
aloud for ' Water ! for God's sake.' I had been concluded dead ; 
but as soon as they found me among them, they still had the 
respect and tenderness for me to cry out * Give him water, give 
him water,' nor would one of them at the window attempt to 
touch it until I had drunk. But from the water I had no re- 
lief; my thirst was rather increased' by it, so I determined to 
drink no more, but patiently await the event, and kept ray 
mouth moist from time to time by sucking the perspiration 
out of my shirt-sleeves, and catching the drops that fell like 
heavy rain from my head and face. You can hardly imagine 
how disappointed I was if any of them escaped my mouth. 

" By half an hour past eleven the much greater number of 
those living were in a raging delirium, and the others quite un- 
governable, few retaining any calmness but the ranks next the 
windows. They all now found that water, instead of relieving, 
rather heightened, their uneasiness, and ' Air ! air !' was the gen- 
eral cry. Every insult that could be devised against the guard, 
all the opprobrious names and abuse that the Suba, Monick- 
chund, etc., could be loaded with, were repeated to provoke the 
guard to fire upon us; every man that could rushed tumultu- 
ously towards the windows, with eager hopes of meeting the 
first shot. Then a general prayer rose to heaven to hasten the 
approach of the flames to the right and left of us, and put a 
period to our misery. But these failing, they whose strength 
and spirits were quite exhausted laid themselves down and ex- 
pired quietly upon their fellows; others, who had yet some 
strength and vigor left, made a last effort for the windows, and 
several succeeded by leaping and scrambling over the backs and 
heads of those in the first ranks, and got hold of the bars, from * 
which there was no removing them. Many to the right and 
left sank with the violent pressure, and were soon suffocated. 
" In this plight, from half an hour after eleven till near two 



PRIMUS DT IOTI8. 159 

in the morning, I sustained the weight of a heavy man, with 
his knees on my back, and the pressure of his whole body on 
my head. A Dutch sergeant, who had taken his seat upon my 
left shoulder, and a Topaz (black Christian soldier, usually 
termed subjects of Portugal) bearing on my right; all which 
nothing could have enabled me long to support but the props 
and pressure equally sustaining me all around. The latter I 
frequently dislodged by shifting my hold on the bars and driv- 
ing my knuckles into their ribs; but my friend above stuck 
fast, and, as he held by two bars, was immovable. 

"Towards two o'clock, finding I must quit the window or 
sink where I was, I resolved on the former, having borne, 
truly for the sake of others, infinitely more of life than the 
best of it is worth. 

" In the rank close behind me was an officer of one of the 
ships, whose name was Carey, and who behaved with much 
bravery during the siege (his wife, a fine woman, though coun- 
try born — 'she is Mr. Orme's daughter,' whispered Mr. Hol- 
well — would not quit him, but accompanied him into the prison, 
and was one, as yon know, who survived). This poor wretch 
had been long raving for water and air; I told him I was 
determined to give up life, and recommended his gaining my 
station. On my quitting, he made an attempt to get my place, 
but was supplanted. Poor Carey expressed his thankfulness, 
and said he would give up life too ; but it was with the utmost 
labor we forced our way from the window (several in the inner 
ranks appearing to me dead, standing, unable to fall, by the 
throng and equal pressure round). He laid himself down to 
die, and his death, I believe, was very sudden, for he was a 
full, sanguine man. His strength was great, and, I imagine, 
had he not retired with me, I should never have been able to 
have forced my way. I was at this time sensible of no pain, 
and little uneasiness. J[ found a stupor coming on apace, and 
laid myself down by that gallant old man, the Reverend Mr. 
Jervas Bellamy, who lay dead with his son, the lieutenant, 
hand in hand, near the southernmost wall of the prison. 

" When I had lain there some little time, I still had reflection 
enough to suffer some uneasiness in the thought that I should 
be trampled upon, when dead, as I myself had done to others. 
With some difficulty I raised myself, and gained the platform 



160 PRIMUS IK INDIS. 

at the window a second time, where I presently lost all sensa- 
tion : the last trace of consciousness that I have been able to 
recollect after my lying down was my sash being uneasy about 
my waist, which I untied, and threw from me. Of what passed 
in this interval to the time of my resurrection from this hole 
of horrors I can give no account. 

" After daybreak, some gentlemen still alive at the windows, 
finding all their efforts to induce the guard to open the door 
still ineffectual, bethought themselves that I might have more 
influence. Having discovered ray body, and discerning signs 
of life in it, thev endeavored to bring it to the window, and 
Captain Mills (afterwards captain of the company's yacht) had 
the humanity to resign his place. 

"At this juncture," continued Mr. Hoi well, "the prince, 
who had received an account of the havoc death had made 
among us, sent one of his Jemmantdaars to inquire if the 
chief survived. They showed me to him, told him I had ap- 
pearance of life remaining, and believed I might recover if the 
door was opened very soon. This answer being returned to 
the prince, an order came immediately for our release, it being 
then near six in the morning. 

"As the door opened inward, and as the dead were piled 
up against it, and covered all the rest of the floor, it was im- 
possible to open it by any efforts from without ; it was there- 
fore necessary that the dead should be removed by the few 
that were within, who were become so feeble that the task, 
thougli it was the condition of life, was not performed without 
the utmost difficulty, and it was twenty minutes after the order 
came before the door could be opened. About a quarter after 
six in the morning the poor remains of one hundred and forty- 
six souls, being no more than three-and-twenty, came out of 
the Black Hole alive, but in a condition which made it very 
doubtful whether they would see the morning of the next day. 
Among the living was, as you know, Mrs. Carey. The bodies 
were dragged out of the hole by the soldiers, and thrown pro- 
miscuously into the ditch of an unfinished ravelin, which was 
afterwards filled with earth." * 

* The facts here given were made public in England, soon after they 
occurred, by Mr. Holwell himself. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 161 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

THE CITY OF MUX AD A BAD. 

Mr. Holwell's horrible recital filled me with indignation 
at the barbarity of the Moors, and I rejoiced that I had refused 
Law of Lauriston's offer of serving their prince. 

Oar boats passed by the French settlement of Chanderna- 
gore; but no arguments, or even bribes, would persuade our 
captors to allow us to land or even send on shore to make 
inquiries. Therefore Mr. Orme and I were rowed past the 
Fort of Orleans and the governor's great white house, without 
even hearing whether Cynthia were there or not. 

That same night, after passing Chandernagore, our boats 
were moored on the opposite bank of the river, but not in 
French territory. We were but half a mile from it or less. 
It was a beautiful moonlight night, and I was a good swim- 
mer, while the rushing tide was in my favor. As I looked on 
the river longingly, and in the direction of the French city, 
the temptation seized me to swim thither. I gave myself 
little time for reflection ; taking off my coat, boots, and stock- 
ings, I made one plunge into the rapid tide and found myself 
in the water, but also in the close proximity of a decaying 
corpse. The guard, thinking I was escaping, fired a hail-storm 
of matchlock bullets in the direction I had taken, but for- 
tunately they mistook the dead body for the living, and I 
escaped unhurt. 

The tide swept me, almost without will of my own, upon 
the point of a promontory on the other river-bank. I was 
thrown by an eddy upon some landing-steps, and found my- 
self soon in the company of some Frenchmen, who had been 
attracted to the river-bank by the sound of musket-shots ; one 
of them proved to be no less than M. Renault de St. Germain 
himself. 

"Yours was the act of a madman," cried he, "for there is 

11 






162 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

an under-current in that river which would swamp the best 
swimmer; however, you have been fortunately preserved." 

" No," he said, in answer to my inquiries, " Mistress Orme 
is not here, and, indeed, sir, I am beyond measure anxious ton 
her account. Neither has she reached the English at Fulta, 
and what makes me so nervous for her is that this stream is 
infested with river pirates, who now, more than ever, carry on 
their trade during these disturbances. They generally kill the 
people and sink the boats they take, to remove all trace of 
their crimes. And a barge crowded with women and children 
and containing much treasure and jewels would excite their 
cupidity." 

His words filled me with despair. The French governor 
asked me to remain under his protection, but I refused, and I 
caused myself to be rowed back into captivity. I did not care 
to abandon Mr. Orme, for he was now very ill. My compan- 
ions were fed only upon rice and water ; they lay upon the 
floor of the open craft and were exposed alternately to the 
excessive heat of the sun and deluge of violent rain. They 
were loaded with fetters, and only escaped a putrid fever by 
breaking out in numerous and painful boils. In consequence 
of these hardships Giles Orme had become most dangerously ill. 

At length the guards, seeing he was at the point of death, 
allowed him to be conveyed to my barge, where my Gen too 
benefactor had caused claret, spirits, and good food to be daily 
served me. Also a doctor was brought to us from a village; 
he lodged on my boat, and gave Giles Orme drugs and potions. 
Under this good treatment he began to mend. I, myself, 
lavished unceasing care upon him, f or my dear lad y's sake, . 1 
I fanned him in the heat of the day, and placed wet cloths 
upon his fevered head, and hardly ever, night or day, left his 
side. When he became conscious, and recognized me, I was 
more than repaid by his saying: a I owe my life to your un- 
ceasing devotion, Nevill, and in happier times I hope to be 
able to repay the debt I owe you." 

Our journey by water took thirteen days. 

At about four o'clock on the 7th of July we arrived at Muxa- 
dabad ; we were ordered on shore, and marched for a considera- 
ble distance through the town as a spectacle for the multitude. 
At length we were deposited under an open shed near the 






PRIMUS IN INDIS. 163 

palace. Here, however, not only the chiefs of the French and 
Dutch factories, but the Arabian merchants, paid us every at- 
tention. It had been an equal marvel to me and to the other 
prisoners why I had been treated with so much consideration 
on the journey. I was much disconcerted on landing at Mux- 
adabad to be robbed of all distinction, and treated like the other 
prisoners, which was badly enough, had it not been for the lib- 
erality of these foreign merchants. 

On the 18th of July the nabob arrived, and we then learned 
that he had intended to set us at liberty before he had left 
Calcutta, and that he was offended with his general for having 
ordered our hasty removal to Muxadabad. Notwithstanding 
this, he did not immediately release us, though it seems that his 
grandmother interested herself in us, and solicited our liberty. 
The next morning after the nabob's arrival he came and listened 
to a petition from Mr. Holwell, with strong marks of compas- 
sion in his countenance, and then ordered our irons to be struck 
off, and ourselves to be conducted wherever we chose to go, 
without injury or insult. 

Some "time-serving sycophants" informed him that Mr. 
Holwell, Mr. Orme, and others, notwithstanding their losses, 
were still possessed of enough to pay a considerable sum for 
their freedom. To this the nabob nobly replied, "If they 
have anything left, let them keep it ; their sufferings have been 
great, and they shall have their liberty." 

Mr. Holwell and his friends made arrangements to take a 
boat, descend the river to the Dutch settlement of Chinsurah, 
and afterward embark for England. Here, then, was the im- 
mediate end of the episode of the Black Hole of Calcutta, so far 
as the fates of the chief persons in the tragedy were concerned. 

From the shed in which we had been imprisoned, on the 
other side of the broad river, we could see a massively built 
palace, which was the house of the General Meer Jaffier, and 
we heard that, although its owner was still in Calcutta, Mrs. 
Carey had been conveyed there. 

Mr. Orme hoped by collecting a large sum of money to pur- 
chase her ransom, although he had been well-nigh ruined by 
the sacking of Calcutta. Of the fate of his wife and children 
and of Mistress Patty we still could hear nothing. 

Three days after receiving our freedom, on the 21st of July, 



" T*< -w 



164 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 

I had arranged to travel with Mr. Orme by boat to Chander- 
flagore, where we had a lingering hope we might find Cynthia 
and her stepmother, or at least hear news of them. 

We were starting in the cool of the evening, and I was on 
the point of stepping into the boat, when an express messenger 
and some soldiers from the palace stopped me. They said that 
the merchants had received leave to depart, but that the general 
amnesty did not concern me, and that I was to remain in the 
city of Muxadabad by special order from the prince, and that 
Mr. Orme was also to be detained. What added to our vexa- 
tion was that Mr. Orme feared he was detained to satisfy the 
private malevolence of a creditor of his, with whom he had had 
a quarrel. 

Words can ill paint our anger and despair when we saw the 
boats containing our late fellow-prisoners float away from the 
wharf, our friends waving their handkerchiefs as a signal of 
farewell. Mr. Hoi well, Mr. Burdett, and in fact all of them, 
promised us their interest to effect our deliverance, but I felt I 
could have wept bitterly when they had departed, and we were 
left alone in that great, hostile Moorish city. 

The emissaries from the palace made us understand that we 
were to follow them. I naturally supposed we were to return 
to the shed in the palace-yard, but that was not our destination. 
We were walked past the palace-gate. 

Our guide, whom I first followed in all the apathy of de- 
spair, seemed to be conducting us through the endless streets 
of that great town, which, in my opinion, is finer and larger 
than London. 

If my curiosity could have been satisfied as to where they 
were taking us, and why we had been detained, I should have 
been interested in our expedition. Even now I recall that the 
air was marvellously balmy and serene, and that above us the 
stars glittered. Fires and lights gleamed among the huts of 
the people's dwellings, while the narrow streets were crowded 
with passengers and traffic. 

The better houses were surrounded by walled gardens, and 
amid the foliage majestic palms, like funeral plumes, stood forth 
against the lustrous sky. 

We arrived in front of a brick house, with windows of wood- 
work carved in light tracery projecting from the upper story. 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 165 

The porter, a bearded Moor, dressed in colored cotton and 
turban, with a lowly salaam requested to be informed of our 
business. Our guide presented his missives of introduction, 
and speedily another Moor, bearded like the first servant, but 
more magnificently attired in the same style, received us with 
equally low salaams. Ushering us across a courtyard lighted 
by little oil-lamps, and with latticed windows on the upper story, 
suggestive of feminine occupancy, he took us into a completely 
Oriental and luxurious apartment, and, while motioning me to 
be seated, he gave orders to attendants respecting the disposi- 
tion of my baggage. At this place Giles Orme disappeared, 
much to my dismay, and I was left unexpectedly alone in the 
stronghold of the Moors, namely, the city of Muxadabad. 

But for my desires and anxieties concerning Cynthia, and 
my own fate, I should have derived extreme delight from the 
novelty of the situation in which I found myself. The apart- 
ment was lighted by a cluster of little oil-lamps, mere wicks 
floating in colored glass vessels, dependent from the roof. 
Around was a sort of raised dais, on which were cushions. In 
the centre mats were laid on the floor, while little tables of 
carved ivory or inlaid work stood about for the reception of 
coffee-cups, etc. The walls and ceiling were fashioned in ele- 
gant arabesques and painted, and there were shelves and cup- 
boards of elaborately carved wood-work on all sides. 

I seated myself on the cushions, at the invitation of my host, 
who seemed a kind of steward, or upper servant ; coffee and 
hookahs were brought, but no conversation ensued, as he spoke 
only the Moorish language, of which I was ignorant. Mean- 
while a more substantial repast was being prepared, and I be- 
came perfectly — that is, comparatively — reconciled to my quar- 
ters. Presently there appeared a pillau of fowl, garnished with 
spices, and other dishes, accompanied by wine, which my host 
seemed to have no objection to my consuming. The viands 
were spread upon the ground upon a tablecloth embroidered in 
gold. 

Through an open lattice I could hear the gay babble of 
women's and children's voices. I could not restrain a wish to 
become acquainted with the owner of the establishment, but of 
him there was no sign. 

We afterwards reclined on cushions, under an alcove opening 



166 PRIMUS IN INDIS. 

on the courtyard, to gain the benefit of the cool evening air, 
to which a little fountain imparted a sweet, musical charm. 

This was a relief, for the atmosphere of the inner apartment, 
comparatively cool when the fierce rays of the sun demanded 
exclusion, had become hot and stifling. Finally I was ushered 
into a sleeping-room, where the evening breeze came in through 
the open lattices, and I fell asleep upon a small, curtainless bed 
having silver feet, thinking of Cynthia. 

In the morning I awoke very early. I looked round my sin- 
gular but luxurious apartment, for surprise at my surroundings 
drove the desire for further rest from me. A tall and hand- 
somely dressed Moor pushed away the heavy curtain, which 
took the place of a door in the room. 

" Nevill," he said in good English, " I am rejoiced to wel- 
come you to my house." % 

" Dalston !" cried I, " right glad am I to see you ; but had 
you discovered yourself sooner I should have been saved some 
needless anxiety." 

"I have to act with caution. I pass as an Arabian in this 
city. The English are in ill repute, and ray wealth here might 
be confiscated if my nationality were known." 

" But, Dalston, why have you detained me here ?" 

" I want your services as a companion in my journey to the 
Great Mogul's court," said he. 

" Heavens ! but for your unkind ness, I might be in the so- 
ciety of my dear lady." 

" Your lady — always your lady. The same, the same old 
tale. Will you refuse to accompany me, and hasten back to 
Ohandernagore, because of this bewitching Lady Cynthia?" 

I was silent from vexation. 

" Then know, O most luckless youth, that the Lady Cynthia 
is in this house." 

" Impossible ! Good God !" 

" It is gospel truth. And so are Giles Orme and his house- 
hold, and even Mrs. Carey, the poor young widow." 

" I am thankful that she has been rescued !" 

"She has been saved for the present. Giles Orme's wife 
belongs to a considerable family in this place, and when they 
heard what had happened, Cynthia travelled to this city, and 
from the influence of her stepmother's relations they have ob- 



PRlMtTS IN INDIS. 167 

tained permission for Mrs. Carey to remain with her own family ; 
but whether she will ever return to Meer Jaffier's palace, that is 
a matter the prince will decide when his general returns. 

" The Lady Cynthia will shortly await you in the hall below ; 
I will send some servants to attend upon you. Law of Lauris- 
ton has sent several carts, said to contain your honor's ward- 
robe, so that should you wish to change the Company's uniform 
I think you may find a more becoming attire in which to ap- 
pear before the lady." 

I gladly exchanged my dirty and worn red uniform for a 
handsome suit of white-and-gold, silk stockings, diamond-bucklo 
shoes, and a dress rapier, which were quickly unpacked from a 
valise, and, thus attired as my old self, the very Ravensthorpe 
of Ravensthorpe, I met Cynthia. 

She received me in the hall of the house I had supped in the 
night before, and she was attired in pink silk brocade, flowered 
with silver, a dress which much resembled the one in which I 
had first seen her in Westminster. No words of mine can de- 
scribe that meeting. 

We spent that whole day together. Hours flew like minutes, 
we had so much to tell, so much to describe, so much to hope. 

At six o'clock, after dinner, " Come," said Cynthia to me, " it 
is now cool, and I will take you to my favorite seat." 

I followed her through the broad, straight walks of Dalston's 
pleasure-grounds. It was evening, the birds sang gayly, the sun 
was setting brightly, and the cloudless sky above us was clear 
gold and orange. 

Cynthia and I were soon seated in a Moorish pleasure-house 
of carved white marble, which stood upon the banks of a rush- 
ing river, upon whose bosom floated strange craft with large 
brown sails. The river at that place made a bend, and spread 
before us as a seeming lake. In the distance, blue and misty, 
among the palm-trees, rose the towers and turrets of Meer Jaf- 
fier's palace, and in the extreme distance beyond lay the city 
of Muxadabad. 

" It is here, dear Ne,vill," said she, " that I have feared for 
you, prayed for you, and have even despaired of ever seeing 
you again, and it is at this lovely spot that I would rejoice that 
you have returned safe and well." 

I looked around me, on the beautiful river, and on the marble 



i x 



168 PRIMUS IN IND1B. 

pleasure-house, and at the masses of rose and orange trees which 
scented the air. 

" It is a fair spot, madam ; but ah, Cynthia, any place where 
you are would be beautiful to me !" 

" It is better than your prison, Nevill," said she, gayly, " now 
own it!" 

"Hateful spot of misery and despair," cried I; "do not 
darken these blissful moments with recalling that wretched 
time." 

" Know, dear Nevill, that it was I, through Mr. Dalston and 
Omichund, who brought you here, and 'tis I who had the boat 
furnished with all you might require." 

" And in so doing, madam, you saved your father's life." 

" Thank Heaven I have been able to undo some of the many 
wrongs 1 have done him. Had you ever reached the British 
fugitives at Fulta you would have encountered a deadly climate ; 
while here, my dearest friend, you will be safe, well, and, I trust, 
happy." 

"I am happy wherever you are, dear madam. But why 
this mystery ? why did you not inform us you were here a fort- 
night ago ?" 

" My dear friend Mr. Dalston thought it wiser not. Indeed, 
we heard the Prince of Bengal was beyond measure incensed 
against Mr. Holwell and his companions. Mr. Dalston recom- 
mended the greatest caution, both for your sake and for ours. 
I in no way understand the Moors and their customs, and there- 
fore considered it necessary to be guided by one so kind and 
so brave as he is. Mr. Dalston intended us all to meet on Dutch 
territory, but at the last minute I was so impatient to see you 
I overruled him, and made him bring you here, not being able 
to defer longer the happiness of seeing you again. I have been 
completely guided by Mr. Dalston, for, dear Nevill, ever since 
I have brought such misfortunes on those I love, I would, 
for the future, mistrust my own judgment." 

" Madam, we have both been born in unfortunate times, yet 
we would both still prefer to suffer in the cause of loyal devo- 
tion than join the too successful Whigs, whatever worldly ad- 
vantages we might have gained by ratting. And now, dearest 
madam, let me renew that offer of marriage I made to you in 
Gloucestershire, and which you then made me the happiest of 



PRIMUS IN INDIS. 169 

men by accepting, for now Mr. Giles Orme has withdrawn all 
objection to our union." 

The joyful smile, deep blush, and glad look in Cynthia's 
eyes then, were my answer; for she was too moved for a minute 
to speak. Although we were poor enough now, and almost 
prisoners in a hostile country, we were too happy in being re- 
united, and too overjoyed in being again affianced lovers, to give 
a thought to our future, however gloomy the outlook might be. 

Ah, running river ! ah, hostile, distant country ! ah, Pay- 
nim infidels of Muxadabad ! nearer and dearer to me are you in 
far memory than Gloucestershire and Ravensthorpe, for there — 
in a far distant land — I won that lady who was my dear com- 
panion in this mortal life. 



CHAPTER XXVIII. 

VICTORY, 1757. 

I have railed at fate, and it must be owned that I, once heir 
of Ravensthorpe, had seen some of the ups and downs of life. 
They say that fortune becomes weary of persecuting a hapless 
mortal; be that as it may, certain it is that in the year 1757 
her favors came upon me as quickly as her buffets had been 
showered upon me with unrelentless cruelty. 

On the 8th of August, 1756, 1 was married to my sweet lady 
Mistress Orme, who was to me for thirty years the most con- 
stant, tender, and faithful spouse. Ah, happy day of our union, 
which took place in Dalston's Moorish house on the river's 
bank at Muxadabad. The ceremony of the marriage service 
was performed by the Rev. Herr Van Houstain (a Calvinist 
minister, who accompanied Giles Orme from the Dutch settle- 
ment, and a priest from Chandernagore). Cynthia's father and 
step-mother were present, and also Dalston. Two of the bride's 
sisters, pretty little misses in white frocks, acted as brides- 
maids. 

Dalston's house (or rather series of houses), situated on the 
bank, overlooked a noble river. His estate was rendered quite 
private by high walls, which enclosed large groves also, and a 
wilderness of a garden, full of fountains, running water, rose- 



170 



primus ik rams. 



bushes, and orange-trees in full bloom. In this paradise we en- 
joyed as ranch air and exercise as the hot and exhausting nature 
of the climate of India rendered necessary to us. We also, on 
a barge, floated much up and 'down the river, but we avoided 
going into the city of Muxadabad, although I occasionally rode 
abroad with Dalston, but in Moorish attire. 

Dalston, as I have said, passed as an Arabian merchant. The 
abolition of the monopolizing Company had afforded him a good 
opportunity of increasing his wealth, nor had he been wanting 
in energy to avail himself of it. Relieved from the crushing 
weight of the Company's power at Calcutta, he had organized 
arrangements for conveying to Europe, in French and Dutch 
vessels, great stores of the gold brocades, muslin, and cotton 
fabrics, as well as the spices and dyes, for which that city is 
so justly celebrated. 

Ibrahim Khan (as he was called), in consequence of his 
princely way of trading, and his knowledge of the Arabic tongue, 
was well known and vastly popular among the mercantile 
community of Bengal, where he had been living as a free mer- 
chant for ten years. I enter into all this, for it was my con- 
nection with this singular man which caused my great fortune, 
and the figure I afterwards soon made in the world. 

To his house all the men of note, both Gentoos and Moors, in 
Muxadabad, used to come. Those who came most often were 
some very wealthy bankers, brothers of the name of Sett. The 
Gentoo, Omichund, continually visited him, and not unfrequent- 
ly there came also Meer Jaffier, the captain -general of the Moor- 
ish forces, and with him a handsome youth in his following, one 
Yar Lutiff Khan, the finest swordsman and rider I ever met. 

I may here mention that the episode of Mrs. Carey had hap- 
pily been settled by her remaining with her own family. 

I had in England, in my youth, been a firm believer in the 
divine right of kings, and now, at the age of twenty-seven, in 
Bengal, I had the greatest hatred of absolute authority and pas- 
sive obedience. 

I had changed my opinions from seeing the state of society 
in Muxadabad. The young prince who lived and ruled there, 
though come of a brave and soldierly race, was frivolous and 
unjust, and his tyranny and the weakness of his mind made him 
equally feared and hated. 



PRIMUS IN INDI8. 



' 171 



I heard much of this disaffection to the prince, because 
Omichund and others frequently conversed with me on this sub- 
ject, and so did Dalston, whose wealth and position were only 
held at the good will of this boy, who, from his wayward 
caprices, was not to be trusted. 

I little expected my fortune would be built up by the im- 
becility and misgovernment of Suraja Dowla ! 

This is how matters stood in the great city of Muxadabad ; 
but Calcutta had, since its siege, been wholly abandoned by the 
English. In the fort where I had suffered such a wretched 
imprisonment a mosque had been built by the Mahometan vic- 
tors in the very courtyard of my prison. Giles Orme saga- 
ciously spoke of the day when the English, under Clive, should 
return, rebuild the fort, and restore British trade ; but this was 
little credited by Dalston and me ; nor was it ever believed for 
one minute by the merchants and bankers of Bengal, and still 
less by the numerous soldiery and the court of the Prince Su- 
raja Dowla, 

We heard, though, that a few English still lingered at the 
river's mouth in ships, but the account of them was not very 
reassuring as to their welfare. The name of the place was 
Fulta, some distance below Calcutta, on the Hooghly. Here 
the ships and the fugitives of Calcutta had ventured to remain, 
as I have stated, and had not been again invaded by the 
nabob. 

A detachment of Adlercron's had been despatched from 
Madras, under Major Kilpatrick, immediately on the arrival of 
the news of the fall of Calcutta. But, as it only consisted of 
two hundred and thirty men, it was considered utterly insuffi- 
cient to attempt the recapture of the settlement. They had 
consequently been encamped at Fulta; and they had suffered 
dreadfully from the effects of the hot, swampy, .pestilential 
district. Drink may have aided the deadly climate of that 
part of Bengal ; but if it threw men into fevers and liver com- 
plaints it would seem that, without it, they must have died of 
exhaustion. Whatever may have been the causes, more than 
half had perished, and of the remainder only thirty were fit for 
duty. Strenuous efforts, therefore, were being made to raise 
fresh soldiers. 

In January, 1*757, Giles Orme determined to remove his 






172 PRIMUS IK INDI8. 

whole family from Muxadabad, as rumors reached us that an 
avenging English force was shortly to be despatched from 
Madras. Dalston, alone, elected to remain at Muxadabad, for 
his whole fortune was engaged in his mercantile ventures. 

We arrived at Fulta by a French ship; the weather was 
cooler then, and the climate more salubrious. We cheerfully 
ascended the ladder of the Royal George, and gladly heard 
again the English tongue, and saw English faces ; although the 
British fugitives there assembled looked pale and sickly. 

In Adlercron's regiment there were still a few privates and 
officers who recognized me, but, knowing that by birth I was a 
rich squire's son, they were not surprised to find me wearing a 
powdered wig, a handsome laced suit, and wearing a sword by 
my side, and married to, a once wealthy merchant's daughter. 
I was now known for having fought well in the defence of 
Calcutta, and on this subject many complimentary things were 
said to me. Like all the other gentlemen, I enrolled myself as 
a plain volunteer. 

On the 20th of December, the fleet, commanded by Admiral 
Watson, arrived from Madras. It should have consisted of 
four ships of war, a fire-ship, and five transports, conveying 
nine hundred Europeans and one thousand five hundred Mad- 
ras Sepoys ; but the ships had been dispersed by a storm, and 
the Cumberland, bearing the flag of Admiral Pococke, the 
second in command, was missing, and also a transport convey- 
ing field artillery. 

Mr. Drake, and others of the chiefs of the Company, were 
still pusillanimously anxious that Calcutta should not be at- 
tacked. They dreaded the vengeance of Suraja Dowla, and 
could not learn to place confidence in the resolution of Clive, 
notwithstanding his reputation, gained by his gallant and suc- 
cessful conduct in the South. 

Among the volunteers in arms at Fulta was Mr. Warren 
Hastings, now so celebrated. But he was then young, and 
possessed of little influence in the Company's service. I re- 
member observing with admiration his quick, bright eye, and 
intelligent smile, and the general activity and self-reliance of 
his manner. I believe, also, that he advised action, but much 
attention was not, as yet, paid to his counsels. 

But Colonel Clive simply overrode the timorous counsels of 






PBIMUS IN INDIS. 173 

the heads of the old factory, by landing and inspecting, at 
Fulta, the remnant of the first contingent from Madras and the 
recruits ; and he then ordered us on board ship, with his own 
force. 

I had heard enough of his reputation to regard him with 
great admiration and confidence as a leader. He was still 
quite a young man, under thirty, but he had broken the power 
of the French in the south of India, and caused the name of 
the British to be held in honor. 

He was a born leader of men. In repose, his features looked 
somewhat lowering and heavy, but when his whole face lighted 
up with the fire of action the nobility of his martial spirit 
could be truly realized. 

He had returned from a visit to England, having already 
accumulated great wealth, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel 
in his majesty's service; and he had been appointed to the 
post of commander-in-chief in Bengal. He heeded not, there- 
fore, any remonstrances on the part of the defeated and dis- 
heartened denizens of Calcutta. He forthwith ordered us on 
shipboard, and we proceeded up the river. 

At this time, one day, a field-officer, in full dress, touched 
me upon the shoulder. 

" Colonel Clive has summoned you to his presence," said he. 

"Conscience makes cowards of us all." I felt sure they 
were going to rake up the sad-enough incidents of my life — 
the destruction of Upland Tower, the loss of the eight Hano- 
verian soldiers, and my escape from custody. I had now given 
a hostage to Fortune, and I dreaded that by imprisonment I 
should be separated for life from my wife — from my dear 
Cynthia. 

I was conducted into the stateroom of the ship Thunder. 
There, seated around a table, were many ofiicers. I recognized 
with vexation some of the officers of Adlcrcron's regiment — 
even the commanding officer, Adlercron, himself — but he 
seemed in no way interested in me; although Captain Eyre 
Coote's keen, sharp eyes were fixed upon my face. I noticed, 
also, the pale, aged features of Admiral Watson observing mo 
with interest. However, standing up, wearing a splendid uni- 
form, with a star on his breast, and decorated with the blue 
ribbon of some order, was Clive himself. 



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174 PRIMUS IN INDI8. 



His hard, stern gaze was riveted upon my countenance, and 
I must own that I, like most men, felt ill at ease under his 
ominously searching and terrible glance. I have faced, since 
then, many battles and dangers, bat never did my spirit quail 
as it did under Olive's look of fire; and this was because I 
knew that my past life lay me under the power of the law. 

"Your name?" he said, shortly and sternly addressing me. 

" Nevill Ravensthorpe, sir." 

"You were once in Adlercron's regiment?" 

" Yes," I faltered, " but I purchased my discharge with Col- 
onel Adlercron's permission." 

"We know that — since which you have been a spy in the 
pay of France ?" 

" By God ! I never have been." 

" You deny it ?" 

"As I hope to be saved, I deny it 'Tis the basest false- 
hood." 

" You have lived, sir, at Muxadabad, as a free merchant ?" 

" No, sir." 

" Then with a free merchant, one Dalston ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

"You are well acquainted with a Moor called Yar Lutiff, and 
with a Gentoo called Omichund ?" 

" Yes, sir." 

"Then I would confer with you privately," said Clive. 
" Gentlemen, you may retire." 

Upon this, the officers, young and old, to tfce number of 
ten, left the cabin, and I was left with the young commander 
and Admiral Watson. 

"Nevill Ravensthorpe," he said, "tell me if there is disaf- 
fection at Muxadabad, the number of the prince's troops, and 
what you know of their worth and quality *, seat yourself." 

I remained with them three hours; I drew sketches of the 
streets of Muxadabad ; a plan of the fort of Calcutta ; I told 
him all the details of the defence of that place ; and answered 
the thousands of questions Give's active and clear mind 
dictated. 

" You are a gentleman ?" he said. 

" By birth, yes — but a very unfortunate one, sir." 

" You are now a plain volunteer ?" 



-V - ■» -r- 



PRIMUS IN INDI&. 1V5 

"Yes, sir." 

" I can offer you the post of ensign in the Company's ser- 
vice, and will see that your future promotion is rapid. If I 
mistake not, you will make a good officer." 

"And I, sir," I answered, "accept your generous offer with 
the greatest gratitude." 

It was arranged, too, that I was to communicate the particu- 
lars of a plot to dethrone Suraja Dowla to DalsJ;on, and that 
hi* house was to be the meeting-place of various disaffected 
persons in Bengal, and especially of the people of note in Mux- 
adabad. 

Quickly on this followed a series of glorious victories, 
planned and carried out by the genuis of Robert Clive. • Suc- 
cess followed success with surprising rapidity ; and in the fol- 
lowing list of engagements I was present. 

We left Fulta on the 27th of December, and we took the 
* fort of Budge Budge on the 28th of December. We regained 
Calcutta, without a battle, on the 2d of January, the garrison, 
a weak one, abandoning the place. But a month later, on the 
4th of February, we had a serious engagement with the army 
of Suraja Dowla, commanded by himself. He was defeated and 
retreated to his capital. We then took the town of Hooghly 
from the Dutch. The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle having come 
to an end, we bombarded the French settlement of Chanderna- 
gore, and drove the French from it on the 14th of March. 

On the 23d of June we fought the great and decisive battle 
of Plassy. I cannot refrain from giving the numbers of this 
engagement. The English had but three thousand men, the 
Prince of Muxadabad had thirty-five thousand.* 

We marched victorious into the city of Muxadabad on the 
25th of June. 

The treasures the English took in that town have been com- 
puted to be three, millions of our money. Colonel Give's 
share alone was two hundred and eighty thousand pounds; 
Giles Orrae received as his share thirty-four thousand pounds, 
and this in a great measure repaid him for his losses during 

* During this battle the General Meer Jaffier deserted to the English 
side with fifteen thousand cavalry. This was one of the results of those 
negotiations secretly carried on in Dalston's house, and in promoting 
which I had been a subordinate agent. 



176 PRIMUS IN IXDIS. 

the sacking of Calcutta. My share was no less than two thou- 
sand pounds. 

As Colonel Clive had conceived a high opinion of me, I rose 
rapidly. One year after joining the East India Company's 
army I received the commission of a captain ; while ten years 
later, as General Sir Nevill Ravensthorpe, K.C.B., I obtained 
the command of all the forces in the East Indies. 

In the year 1787 my wife, my children, and I had returned 
to our native land. In the pump-room of Bath we met an old 
gentleman greatly crippled with gout — it was Squire Ravens- 
thorpe. He became very friendly to Cynthia, saying she was a 
monstrously fine woman, and took a fancy to my eldest son. 

Squire Ravensthorpe died in 1790, and left me, by will, both 
his money and his estates. When Lord North's ministry was 
in power I was created Yiscount Ravensthorpe. 

The great house of Buckland New Cross came into the mar- 
ket, and we purchased it ; but to Ravensthorpe Hall, where my 
mother had spent so wretched a life, I never cared to return. 

A few people remain, whose fates my grandchildren may 
care to learn : 

Dalston married one of Cynthia's sisters, and returned to 
England a wealthy man. 

The Gentoo, Omichund, as is well known, considered him- 
self defrauded by Colonel Clive and the Council of Calcutta of 
a large sum of money. This so preyed upon his mind that he 
fell into a state of idiotcy and then died. 

The General Meer Jaffier became Prince of Muxadabad, 
while Suraja Dowla was deposed and met with a violent death. 

Mis. Carey married again, and lived to a green old age. 

The fate of Diggory Hogben I never learned, but when I 
became wealthy I assisted his kindred. 

Law of Lauriston, with forty Frenchmen from Patna, tried 
to save the life of Suraja Dowla, but they failed. 

Law never became reconciled to me, calling me a turncoat 
and a Whig. That I never was, only I could not bear arms 
against England. 

Law died in poverty and obscurity in France, I have been 
told, but I never knew what his end really was. 

THE END. 



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